Boiled coffee is a way of preparing infused coffee, just like a French press or cold brew coffee. The difference with these methods is that boiled coffee is prepared by pouring the ground coffee into the (almost) boiling water and not the other way around (adding the boiling water).
Some of the most famous and interesting boiled coffee preparations are Turkish coffee and coffee in the sand. Boiling coffee is considered one of making coffee without a coffee maker.
There are many recipes for boiled coffee, but making it is essentially the same. We will dwell on that primary process to make it known and clarify some of the most frequent doubts that our readers have about this type of traditional coffee.
What is boiled coffee?
Boiled coffee is a centuries-old method of preparation that is still very popular in some parts of the world. It may have certain similarities with clay pot coffee, which we have already discussed on our website.
There are many variants when preparing boiled coffee, and they affect the final result significantly:
- When do you add the coffee?
- How much ground coffee do you use?
- How thick should the coffee grind be?
- How long do you leave the coffee in the water to infuse?
What water do we use to prepare boiled coffee?
Boiled coffee takes much of its flavour from the water it is made with. Therefore, we recommend always using bottled water as neutral as possible to get the best possible result. You know that there can be differences in taste even between different mineral water brands.
At what water temperature should coffee be added?
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when preparing boiled coffee. Ground coffee should never be poured into boiling water but “just after boiling”. In other words, we should remove the water from the heat, wait a few seconds and then add the ground coffee to the water to infuse it.
The hotter the water is, the more bitter flavours will be extracted from the coffee, so this is a parameter you can control by the temperature of the water. However, if you wait too long, the water will get too cold, and you will not be able to extract the full flavour of the coffee.
How coarse should the coffee grind be?
To make boiled coffee, any thickness of the coffee grind can be used. However, this degree of grind will greatly affect the result. The finer the grind, the more surface area of coffee will contact the water and, therefore, the more bitter and intense the taste.
Turkish coffee is not filtered; it is a boiled coffee made with an almost powdered grind.
How long should the coffee be immersed in water?
As with other coffee brewing methods, such as the French press, the longer the coffee is in contact with water, the more oils are extracted from the coffee, and the more bitter and caffeinated the result.
So the length of time the coffee is immersed in the water will depend on your taste; the stronger you like your coffee, the longer you should leave it in the water.
Preparation of boiled coffee, step by step
- Bring water to a boil. Only use the water needed for the coffee to be consumed, so use the cup you will drink from as the reference measure.
- When the water starts to boil, remove it from the heat.
- Add the ground coffee to the hot water. The ratio can be a large spoonful per cup, but this is something to be adjusted to the consumer’s taste.
- Cover with a cloth for a few minutes (you can try 3 or 4 to start with, but this is another variable you will have to adjust to your taste, as explained above).
- Finally, strain the coffee to remove the grounds and serve immediately.
Is boiled coffee bad?
Not necessarily, but it is always advisable to filter it well to prevent the grounds from getting into the beverage you drink. The coffee grounds add bitter flavours and unpleasant textures.
Nor is it advisable to drink it from one day to the next because the bitterness increases when the coffee is in contact with water. All infused coffees should be drunk on the spot, and any leftovers should be discarded.
What type of coffee should I buy for boiled coffee?
It is advisable to buy the coffee beans you like best and grind them yourself at home. In this way, we can try different grind thicknesses, which will affect the final taste of the coffee until we find the one we like best. For this reason, we do not recommend buying packaged pre-ground coffee.
Scandinavian boiled coffee
Boiling coffee is widely used in Scandinavian countries, especially Norway and Sweden. For this reason, it is also known as Scandinavian boiled coffee. And it is also a different preparation, as they add an unusual extra ingredient to the traditional coffee. Would you like to know more about it?
Ingredients for making Scandinavian boiled coffee
- Boiling water.
- Ground coffee.
- A raw egg.
How Scandinavian coffee is made (with egg, yes)
As in all boiled coffee, the first thing we’re going to do is put the water to boil. Meanwhile, let’s mix in a bowl or a deep dish the following:
- A large spoonful of ground coffee for each cup we will drink. If we are going to make four cups, then we put four tablespoons.
- In the same way, we put as many small spoonfuls of cold water as we will drink cups.
- And the raw egg.
We must stir well this peculiar mixture of cold water, ground coffee, and cold water (cold water only serves to help bind the other two ingredients, do not worry). Next, add the mixture to the boiling water in the pot. Let it boil for three minutes, take it off the heat and immediately add a glass of cold water to cut the boil.
Finally, strain it well (you should serve us a kitchen filter of the fines) and serve it directly in a cup. What do you think?