WHAT IS ARMENIAN COFFEE?
Armenian coffee (or soorj as it’s known in the Armenian language) is enjoyed by Armenians throughout the world from Yerevan to Tehran, Moscow, Beirut, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and many other cities that are home to the Armenian diaspora. Armenian coffee is made using beans that are ground to an extremely fine, powder-like consistency. To make Armenian coffee, you need a jazzve—a coffee-pot made of copper or steel with a long handle that features a neck that is narrower than its base.
HOW DO YOU MAKE ARMENIAN COFFEE?
Once you have your jazzve and the coffee, the process is relatively simple:
- For every cup, add one generous teaspoon of coffee into the jazzve.
- If you like your coffee slightly sweet, add a half teaspoon of sugar for each cup.
- For every cup, add 3-5 ounces (depending on the size of your cup) of lukewarm water.
- Transfer your jazzve onto the stovetop on low heat.
- Stir the coffee for a few seconds with your teaspoon.
- Wait until your coffee begins to bubble and foam, then, only once it begins to rise, turn off the stove and slowly pour the coffee into the cup.
Once it’s ready, all of the contents from the jazzve are poured into demitasse (or espresso) cups, including the coffee grounds. The coffee grounds rest at the bottom of the cup, but are not intended to be drank—instead, they serve a different “purpose” (more on this later).
The trickiest part of making a great cup of Armenian coffee is getting the creamy layer of froth on top—what is referred to as ser in Armenian. The first part to the trick is to not over-boil the coffee. Second, make sure that the beans you are using are freshly ground. At Sara Coffee Co., we ground the coffee after we receive your order to help ensure freshness.
HOW IS ARMENIAN COFFEE DIFFERENT FROM GREEK COFFEE OR TURKISH COFFEE?
Many different countries and cultures lay claim to this method of making coffee. Unlike Colombian coffee or Ethiopian coffee, for example, in which the name refers to the origin of the coffee beans, Armenian coffee, Greek coffee, and Turkish coffee all refer instead to how the coffee is made. In fact, coffee beans aren’t grown in Armenia, Greece, nor Turkey. What ultimately distinguishes Armenian coffee from Greek coffee or Turkish coffee is the person making it—otherwise, they’re all quite similar.
ARMENIAN COFFEE CUSTOMS
There are many different customs and traditions related to Armenian coffee, some of which include:
- In Armenian culture, guests are served coffee at the very end of an event. If coffee is served too soon, that might be seen as an insult to guests.
- As mentioned earlier, coffee grounds rest at the bottom of the cup. Once they’ve enjoyed their coffee, many Armenians flip their cup over onto the saucer. After waiting a few minutes, the cup is flipped over. The hardened coffee grounds depict a scene that is used for fortune-telling—what is known as the practice of tasseography or tasseology.
- Coffee is often served with traditional Armenian pasties such as nazook or gata.
When developing the Sara Coffee Co. Original Blend, our top priority was to make sure that all the elements that play a role in crafting the perfect cup of Armenian coffee were considered. After years of continuous refinement, we’re proud to present Original Blend. If you’re looking for a consistently good cup of Armenian coffee, we invite you to try the Sara Coffee Co. Original Blend which you can find in our online shop and in retailers across Los Angeles.