Espresso vs Turkish Coffee (Which One Should You Choose?)

Espresso is a coffee beverage made by forcing pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans. Turkish coffee is made by boiling on the stovetop in a pot before being poured into cups.

These two drinks are very different because of how they’re prepared and their ingredients. Espresso uses more pressure to extract flavor out of the ground beans than Turkish coffee does; whereas Turkish coffee relies mostly on time for extraction rather than force.

What Is The Difference Between Espresso and Turkish Coffee?

Espresso and Turkish coffee are very different. The espresso is often served in small cups (very often called “demitasse“), whereas the Turkish coffee is usually brewed in a tall glass or ceramic pot that has been heated over an open flame and served in special Turkish coffee cups.

Espresso is a potent coffee beverage brewed under pressure, extracted from quickly dripping ground coffee beans, and usually served in small cups.

Turkish coffee on the other hand is made from coarsely grounded beans. The ground coffee is usually put in a pot of water, which is brought to a boil naturally, or with the use of an electric stove.

The difference between espresso and Turkish coffee is that espresso is a more concentrated beverage with high caffeine content. In contrast, Turkish coffee is less potent as it does not use additional pressure during the extraction process.

What is Turkish Coffee?

A man is filling a cup with Turkish coffee using cezve

Turkish coffee is a style of preparing coffee that involves boiling water and finely ground beans together in order to produce one of the most popular drinks in Turkey. It can be served either black or with sugar, but it is typically drunk without any accompaniment other than conversation.

Turkish Coffee was first served around 1530 by an Ottoman scholar named Hadji Murad Inan who lived near Damascus, Syria. He had observed how people would drink boiled wheat grains as a substitute for drinking water because of the long drought seasons; he then went on to mix this with roasted barley and raw chickpeas before grinding them into powder form (similar to what we know today as Turkish Coffee). This new drink gained popularity quickly among locals, which led it to become a current day Turkish Coffee.

Over time, like most other foods, the recipe has changed slightly to fit around modern times. It is now not served in its powder form but instead in a fine grind which produces the best results when boiled with water. Turkish coffee serves as both an official and casual custom in Turkey; it is customary to serve someone a cup of coffee as an invitation to visit that person’s home, and it is also customary for the host(ess) to put on some music and dance with their guests.

How To Make Your Own Turkish Coffee?

– Fill a small pot with water and bring it to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat

– Add ¼ cup of coffee that has been ground to a fine grind, stir until mixed in

– Put the pot back on the heat and allow it to boil 2-3 times

– Pour this mixture into a cup and enjoy!

What is Espresso?

espresso coffee maker preparing a delicious cup of espresso

Espresso coffee is a concentrated form of coffee brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground dark-roasted coffee. It was invented in Italy and became popular worldwide after World War II.

In the United States, espresso has become so prevalent that it now rivals American drip as the standard form of home-brewed coffee. In fact, Americans consume more espresso than any other country in the world – about 400 million cups each year (source). That’s enough to fill a commercial tanker truck! One reason for its popularity is that because it takes only 25 seconds to make espresso (compared with 4 minutes for drip), you can drink your caffeine fix much faster at work or on the go without sacrificing taste or quality.

Espresso recipe

This topic is so broad that I’ve written a separate post that includes 4 different ways of making a perfect cup of espresso.

An Interesting Fact About Espresso:

The first machine for making espresso was designed and built-in in 1901 by Luigi Bezzera of Milan, Italy. The idea for the machine came from Bezzera’s desire to speed up the process of preparing coffee, which normally took several minutes per cup.

You can find more fun facts about espresso in the movie below:

Espresso vs Turkish Coffee: Caffeine Content

Since the water used to extract espresso is brought up to 200°F before being pushed at high pressure through the freshly ground beans, espresso contains significantly more caffeine than Turkish coffee, which is prepared with water that’s held at a near-constant 195°F.

The caffeine dosage can be determined by the variety and the roasting technique as well as other factors such as particle size and density. However, we can say that a typical espresso has about 64 mg of caffeine. A cup of Turkish coffee on the other hand has around 50 milligrams of caffeine per espresso-sized cup.

Espresso vs Turkish Coffee: Grind

Espresso fine grind

The espresso coffee grind is very different from the Turkish grind size. Espresso coffee has a finer consistency. The result of this finer consistency is that espresso will be more concentrated in flavor and caffeine content than Turkish coffee.

The coarser coffee grounds allow more water to flow through, so there’s less pressure on the grounds when it hits them, which means they have time to release all their flavor before being filtered out by the paper filter at the bottom of your cup or demitasse.

This slower extraction process also creates foam on top of your drink called crema. Crema is prized for its sweetness and velvety texture – qualities that are lost in an espresso shot that comes straight up after brewing due to high pressure extracting everything quickly.

Turkish coffee vs espresso: Taste

Espresso is a type of coffee that’s brewed under pressure, using finely ground beans. It results in a strong and bitter taste, with a thick crema on top. The flavor profile is acidic and slightly sweet.

Turkish coffee, on the other hand, is made by boiling finely ground coffee grinds in water for about 10 minutes to extract the oils before straining out the grounds. This makes it slightly more delicate than espresso but richer than drip-brewed coffee because it has less contact time with the hot water that drips through it into your cup. It has a slightly smoky or spicy flavor.

Espresso vs Turkish Coffee: Preparation time

Since it’s brewed under pressure, espresso also has a much faster extraction rate than Turkish coffee and is ready to drink almost instantaneously after it’s made.

Espresso vs Turkish coffee: Equipment

You can easily make single servings at home using either an espresso machine or a stovetop Moka pot. Turkish coffee, on the other hand, is usually made with a cezve, which looks like a small metal pitcher with a long handle and spout.

Espresso vs Turkish coffee: Serving

Turkish coffee is usually served with sugar and without milk. You can add sugar during the brewing process or offer it with the coffee so that your guests can help themselves. Espresso is very often served with sugar too.

Espresso vs Turkish coffee: Variations

Although people in Turkey drink their own brew, they also enjoy different varieties of coffee and sometimes add spices like cardamom to give them a unique flavor profile.

This type of brewing is known more globally as “Turkish coffee” and is also analogous to the style of espresso production because it uses a fine grind and water under pressure.

“Espresso Romano” is a very typical variant of espresso. Espresso Romano is made using regular espresso and a slice of lemon or lemon juice.

Espresso vs Turkish coffee: What Are The Best Beans?

Best Beans for Turkish Coffee

As you already know Turkish coffee is prepared by boiling finely ground coffee to a very strong brew. This means that arabica beans are preferred, but robusta or a mix may be used too.

If you are just starting your adventure with Turkish coffee I highly recommend classic Najjar coffee. It is very smooth and strong, but not bitter at the same time. You also won’t be able to resist the amazing aroma. Definitely, a perfect way to make Turkish coffee.

Best Beans for Espresso

My number 1 recommendation is Kicking Horse Coffee. It’s made using 100% Arabica whole bean, this is a high-quality espresso coffee that’s strong and delicious. You also won’t feel the acidic taste because of lack of the robusta beans.

Frequently Asked Questions about Turkish coffee and espresso

Is Turkish coffee stronger than espresso?

No. Turkish coffee is not stronger than espresso. A cup of Turkish coffee has around 50 milligrams of caffeine per espresso-sized cup while a cup of espresso has approx 64 mg of caffeine.

Is Turkish coffee stronger than regular coffee?

No Turkish coffee is not stronger than regular drip coffee. Turkish coffee is only stronger because it contains more grounds. For the same “serving size” of coffee, there are more grounds in a Turkish coffee pot than in a European/Mexican style pot.

Can I use Turkish coffee for espresso?

No, it’s not something I’d recommend. Turkish coffee will not produce the same results as coffee used for espresso. Espresso is a dry, dark-roasted bean that has been finely ground and heated under pressure to extract a portion of natural oils.

Turkish coffee tends to have a lower acid content and does not use heat in its process, which means the flavors are different. It doesn’t have the same thickness as espresso, so you will end up having more like a skinny coffee.


I’ve personally tried both Turkish coffee and espresso, but my vote goes for a shot of espresso. Espresso does have a smoother taste, so if you like your drinks on the sweeter side then this might be what you will prefer too.

If you don’t know where to start when deciding between these two types of brews, read our blog post about how they’re different in preparation time or equipment required.

Avatar image of Luke
Written by


Hi! My name is Luke. I’m a huge espresso fan, a dad, and a caffeine junkie (which helps a lot in being a dad to an early bird ;) ). Welcome to my blog, I hope you will enjoy every single second of being here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *