What is boiled coffee and how is it prepared?

As its name indicates, boiled coffee is a way of preparing coffee in which water is used at its boiling point. The result is a very characteristic infused coffee, which differs from the coffee obtained with the French press or a manual pour-over coffee maker, as it has a stronger flavor and leaves a more acidic aftertaste.

The best-known boiled coffee in the world is undoubtedly Turkish coffee, which has certain characteristics that make it a separate specialty, despite being a boiled coffee. As we will see throughout this article, boiled coffee is very flexible, and we can achieve different results by varying small factors.

What is boiled coffee?

Coffee machines are relatively young devices if we compare them to coffee itself. One of the simplest ways to obtain a coffee beverage was by adding it to boiling water since the water at a high temperature can extract all the flavor and aroma of ground coffee.

In many parts of the world, this technique is still used because of tradition, but in other cases, it is used due to a lack of a coffee machine or to obtain a unique coffee that cannot be obtained with any other technique.

Although the basic concept is to boil water and add the coffee to the water, there are many variations when preparing boiled coffee, and these affect the final result significantly:

  • Do you boil the water first and then add the coffee, or the other way around?
  • What is the ratio between coffee and water?
  • What grind level should the coffee have?
  • How long should the coffee be left with the water to infuse?

What water do we use to prepare the boiled coffee?

As with any coffee, you can use any type of water, including tap water. However, as the coffee beverage resulting from boiled coffee takes much of its flavor from the water, to obtain the best possible result, it is recommended to use filtered water.

Water is an important factor in all coffee preparations since the minerals it contains contribute to the beverage’s flavor. Although especially important in infused coffee beverages, where the water is in contact with the ground coffee for longer periods.

Note: Water is crucial in pod and espresso machines to avoid scale deposits on internal components.

At what water temperature should the coffee be added?

This is one of the most common mistakes made when preparing boiled coffee. The water should not be boiled with the ground coffee in it. We must wait for the water to boil, remove it from the heat source, and then add the ground coffee.

The hotter the water is, the more acidity will be extracted from the coffee, so the water temperature is a parameter through which we can control the acidity of the coffee.

However, if you wait too long, the water will get too cold, and you will not be able to extract the full flavor of the coffee. It is best to experiment yourself and find the ideal temperature point.

How coarse should the coffee grind be?

To prepare boiled coffee, you can use any grind size. However, this degree of grinding will greatly affect the flavor of the coffee.

The finer the grind, the more flavor the water will extract from the coffee, which does not mean that it is better since, although the beverage will be more intense, it will also be more acidic.

It is advisable to start with a medium-grade grind and, from there, try finer and coarser grinds. As previously mentioned, Turkish coffee is a type of boiled coffee with such a fine grind that it looks like coffee powder.

How long should the coffee be in contact with water?

Generally, ground coffee should be submerged in water (without boiling) for more than 3 or 4 minutes for two reasons:

  1. On the one hand, as the water cools down, it is less capable of extracting the coffee flavor from the ground coffee beans.
  2. After the first few minutes of contact between water and ground coffee, oil is extracted instead of flavor.

As we said in the previous sections, start from a reference of 3 or 4 minutes and increase or decrease this time in successive preparations. In this way, you can check which time best suits your tastes.

What happens if coffee is boiled together with water?

You will have a bitter coffee beverage if you boil the coffee with water for a long time. The same can happen if you leave the ground coffee in the water too long.

Preparation of the boiled coffee, step by step

Using the cup in which you are going to serve the coffee, add a cup overflowing with water per person in a saucepan (they are added to overflowing due to the loss of water during the boiling process).

  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Turn off the heat as soon as the water starts to boil.
  3. Add one and a half tablespoons of ground coffee per person. If the person who is going to drink the coffee prefers a stronger drink, add two tablespoons per person.
  4. Stir well until all the ground coffee has gone to the bottom of the saucepan.
  5. Let it rest for 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Serve the coffee directly, not pouring the grounds into the cups. You can help yourself with a strainer, but the grounds should not reach the cups if you do it carefully.

When drinking the coffee, do not squeeze out the last drop of coffee to avoid the coffee grounds that could have escaped into the cup.

Is the technique of boiling coffee good?

Boiled coffee is nothing more than another method of preparing coffee, and as such, some people love it, and others hate it. Therefore, it is neither good nor bad; it is just different.

You must remember that you will obtain an infused coffee and not an espresso; therefore, boiled coffee will have less body but more flavor.

Boiled coffee will be a coffee with a more acidic aftertaste due to the process by which it is infused. However, this acidity can be reduced by increasing the thickness of the grind and reducing the contact time of coffee and water.

What coffee should I buy to make boiled coffee?

Even though any coffee bean is good for preparing boiled coffee, buying coffees of natural roasts and high intensity is advisable. If you use roasted coffee, you may find the result too acidic, and if the intensity of the coffee is too low, you may find that the beverage is too low in body.

But as we have been saying throughout the article, it is a matter of taste and experimentation. We have given you the basics to achieve the best-boiled coffee according to your tastes.

Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

Leave a Comment