A Culinary Twist to Coffee

Find excellent Turkish coffee right here in New Hampshire with Olive & Bean Co.

Turkish coffees are enjoyed around the world, in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America. Christine Abichaker has taken this traditional coffee preparation method a step farther with her company Olive & Bean Co.

Abichaker grew up in a Lebanese family drinking Turkish coffee as part of her cultural background. The hallmark of Turkish coffee is the fine grind and the brewing method. Here, the grounds are placed in a container called an Ibrik. Two tablespoons of prepared Turkish coffee are stirred into hot water and then brought to a boil, but then quickly removed from the heat. After the coffee settles, it’s poured into demitasse cups. Abichaker warns that the boiling of the grounds is akin to further roasting, so it is important to not let them overcook. Also, over-extraction would diminish the quality of the crema — that lovely froth that floats on top of a good cup of coffee.

But Abichaker has taken this tradition of Turkish coffee to another level. She purchases freshly roasted coffee from A&E Coffee Roastery in Amherst and then adds her own finely ground spices and herbs to the mix. Think orange peel, cardamom and even lavender and chocolate to add a nice floral bouquet to the potent coffees. Her products are hand-packed and delivered to local stores and sold online in single-serve pouches ($1.99) or packs that serve eight ($7.99).

As a civil engineer designing drinking water projects in Honduras, Abichaker seeks to support farming communities and insists on single-origin coffee beans. She also uses a fair trade cocoa in her chocolate lavender blend. One of her long-range goals is to direct a percentage of sales to farming communities in the agricultural areas that grow her beans.

Turkish coffee is not what one grabs at the drive-through, but rather is meant to be sipped and savored in solitude or, even better, in a social setting. It is designed to be an experience — flavors, aromas and fine coffee.

Categories: Features