Instant Turkish Coffee

paper cup of coffee

Everyone in Turkey uses instant coffee. It’s an option as an on-board drink on any of Turkey’s national coach companies’ vehicles as well as being available in cafes and restaurants.

Just as in my youth, regardless of the manufacturer all vacuum cleaners were referred to as ‘Hoovers’, in Turkey today all instant coffee is spoken of as ‘Nescafe’. When travelling by bus, ask for a cup of instant coffee and you will be met with a blank face, ask for a Nescafe and you will be served immediately.

Perhaps it is because many Turks first encountered instant coffee on a busses that some make it in a way that seems to me to be wrong?

On a bus the attendant brings you a paper cup which is filled with hot water from a thermos. Later he gives you a sachet of instant coffee. In this way you can decide what strength of coffee you wish to drink, and the water in your cup can get cold even before it’s become coffee.

When I encountered this method on Turkish busses I never understood the logic of adding coffee to the hot water. I was even more surprised however when I discovered people serving me coffee this way in their homes.

Oya Soylu my mother-in-law always brings the Nescafe ingredients upon a tray. There is a small jar of instant coffee, a basin containing non dairy coffee creamer, a sugar basin of heart shaped brown sugar, and a spoon.

As an Englishman I detest this pretension preferring to add the steaming hot water and milk to the instant coffee powder. I’ve never found any non-dairy creamer an adequate substitute for cream, or milk. Indeed given a choice between powdered creamer and nothing at all, I’ll always take my coffee black.

Black instant coffee in Turkey is called: ‘sade Nescafe’. Sade Nescafe is pronounced sarday neskafay.

Yesterday at a shop called ‘Mudo Concept’ I saw on display some white porcelain cups in the shape of disposable paper ones. These were clearly manufactured with instant coffee in mind but are totally impractical. They do not stack like real paper cups, nor are they disposable. Moreover like paper cups they have no handle so it would be easy to burn your fingers.

You might be excused for thinking that I am being overly derisive of how Turkish people prefer their instant coffee. I don’t intend to be, it’s simply that instant coffee made in this way tastes wrong.

After a long overnight bus journey at 6.00 a.m. however, there is perhaps no finer drink than a plastic cup of lukewarm instant coffee made the Turkish way.

But then that’s a great reason to fly!

5 Responses to “Instant Turkish Coffee”

  1. Pebbles From Paradise » Blog Archive » Styrofoam ®, or Foamed Polystyrene? Says:

    […] It’s useful stuff, especially when molded into cups and filled with boiling water prior to making Turkish Nescafe. […]

  2. Jalil Says:

    Dear company,
    I am interested to buy high quality of Turkish coffee in large quantity and constantly, in addition to some Grinder machines and other materials need it to make a good Turkish coffee. Would you please provide me with the following details information?
    1. What is the source of your coffee as, Colombian or Brazilin, and what is the price per Kilo, pond… etc in large amount
    2. Who is the manufacturer of Grinder machine? Is it working with electric or Gas? What is the size and the price for each
    3. Are you manufacturing the Turkish coffee or exporting it
    4. What type of the payment plan you are using with international buyers?
    5. Are you going to ship the coffee and the machine to the U.S. or this is my responsibility? And how?
    6. Please send us details product specifications and price terms
    7. If you have any questions or comments feel free please to call me at: 214 505 9731, or fax me at: 972 335 0885
    My email address is:

    Your respond greatly appreciated

  3. Stephen Bray Says:


    Thank you for your comment. Actually I drink Turkish Coffee, but don’t export it. Indeed I don’t make it ver often preferring to leave that art to those who are more expert.

    I have allowed your post to remain here, however, in the hope that it may attract suitable suppliers to you.

    Kindly note I have added the words (nospam) in brackets to your e-mail addresses and anyone wishing to contact you should remove both the words and the brackets.

    Kind regards,

    Stephen Bray

  4. Zeynep Kayacı Says:

    I’m a Turk and I completely agree with you! :)

    Our instant coffee brewing method is not good at all. Just adding instant coffee powder to hot water actually is not a good way of making coffee. But as it’s very practical, it’s widely preferred in Turkey.

    Personally, I prefer original Turkish coffee. But, as you know Turkish coffee is not a coffee type that you can grab and drink during busy working days. You need time to enjoy Turkish coffee! :)

    Here’s a blog completely dedicated to Turkish coffee and written by a good friend of mine.

    Mahir’s Turkish Coffeehouse

  5. Dylan Atakli Williams Says:

    Jalil, Zeynap, all…

    my wife, being turkish, like to make great original turkish coffee…and i am a huge fan…NOW for some very new ‘news’ I have in my hand the worlds first ‘instant Turkish Coffee’ hmm i hear you say, this new patented method allows you to make great original turkish coffee in just 5 secs without all the grinders, devices, hob etc… I enjoy it in my office and no longer worry my visitors all request turkish coffee.. It is a new product and from my recent visit to turkey my friend announced that his company has just produced this with 100% results and ready to distribute!

    If you do not believe then please drop me an email an i will send you a few sachets to try, available in medium, sweet and sugar free.

    ready to export worldwide for those who want in very quickly on this soon to be world wide explosion! I live in UAE and it is will be here very shortly.

    please send questions to

    enjoy you brew….your way….


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