Wednesday 23 June 2021

Turkish Coffee with JamJar Canteen Commercial Drive

Years ago I saw a video of Turkish Coffee being made in the Middle East. I had seen nothing like it before. A little coffee pot was placed in hot sand and within moments, a frothy coffee begins to boil up. I have never seen any sort of food or beverage prepared in hot sand before! Needless to say, it was really cool and looked like magic! 

When I heard JamJar Canteen serves Turkish Coffee, you bet I had to go check it out. JamJar Canteen is a  Lebanese restaurant that specializes in Mezze - Middle Eastern Tapas. The space is stunning, with emerald green walls, ornate penny tiled flooring and lovely old-growth wooden beams, but there was no sand in sight. For logistical reasons, hot sand is not feasible, thus JamJar uses a gas burner. 

JamJar prepares their Turkish coffee in Cezve, small pots that are traditionally used to prepare the drink. They are made from very thin copper making them excellent heat conductors. JamJar uses coffee from Moja Coffee, a roaster just up the street, but gets their beans ground extra fine. 

A few spoonfuls of the finely ground coffee is added to the Cezve with water and is heated up until it becomes frothy, but not boiling. The name escapes me, but basically, it starts to look creamy. The entire process takes a couple of minutes after which you allow the coffee to sit. Turkish coffee is not strained, so letting the coffee sit for a couple of minutes in the Cezve allows the solids to settle to the bottom. When pouring the coffee into your glass, do so slowly to not accidentally get the coffee grinds in your glass. 

This unfiltered finely ground method of preparing coffee is what makes Turkish Coffee stronger than the usual coffee. Turkish Coffee is also enjoyed black and if needed some sugar. JamJar also adds ground cardamom spice giving it a lovely aromatic flavour and serves the coffee with dried dates. 

If you are a coffee fiend, you really must visit JamJar Canteen on Commercial Drive for the Turkish Coffee. Especially if you love caffeine! While you are there, I highly recommend picking up baklava. Unlike supermarket baklavas that are laden with sugar and syrups, JamJar's pistachio and cashew baklavas are made fresh in Vancouver and are buttery, nutty and rich. Aka probably what baklava is meant to taste like. 


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