Menengic Coffee

menengic coffee |

I was wondering around the city center of Diyarbakir last weekend when I saw a great shopping arcade with many small shops selling various foods special to the region. As a foodie, I almost barged into it without hesitating as everything looked so tempting! The first thing taking my attention was what we call menengic. I searched for its English meaning and found that it is called terebinth berries. These green berries are one of my childhood favorites. We used to snack on them about 20 years ago when chips or crackers were not that common. My grandparents had a terebinth tree in their yard, and they would always bring a full bag whenever they visited us. We don’t have it where I live now, so it was great to see them in Diyarbakir!

I couldn’t wait any longer and threw a few into my mouth, it’s a typical way to start shopping in a Turkish food shop. It was the same flavor as I had as a kid. If it’s the first time you try it, you may not love its bitterish-sourish flavor and its crunchiness. Menengic is one of those foods you either love or hate. I suggest you to have a few berries at one time to feel the flavor, you can’t get it with just one. I did the same warning to friends with me there and they found it ‘interesting’. Right, the word ‘interesting’ would be the best word to describe the flavor of terebinth berry, which is also known as the wild version of pistachio. You know, the flavor of wild foods are stronger.

menengic coffee |

I saw a jar labeled ‘menengic coffee’ in the same shop and I was intrigued, so I bought a jar to try. I just couldn’t imagine how these berries could turn into coffee. I learnt from the vendor that menengic berries are picked, dried in the sun and roasted until they turn dark brown. After this roasting process, they are mashed until it becomes paste. I thought it was like powder, but no it is like a melted chocolate.

menengic coffee |

This coffee is made either with milk or water, but I like it with milk as it softens the strong flavor of menengic. It is optional to add sugar; if you like your regular coffee sweet, then you should add sugar. I don’t think it needs any sweetness though if you make it with milk.

menengic coffee4

It has a softer flavor than regular Turkish coffee, so if you find Turkish coffee very strong, I’m sure you will love this cafein free coffee. It is almost the same to make these two coffees. They are both boiled in a special coffee pot over low heat. And you should be vigilant as it might rise very quickly and might boil over. You know having foam on top of cups is very important when making regular Turkish coffee but menengic coffee doesn’t have foam, so no worries! It is also served in demitasses just like Turkish coffee.

menengic coffee5

I thought it would be great to serve it in the copper coffee cup set I bought from Diyarbakir. Diyarbakır menengic coffee in Diyarbakir coffee cups, great!

5 from 1 reviews
Menengic Coffee
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 2 coffee cups milk
  • 2 tsp menengic coffee
  1. Pour milk in a coffee pot.
  2. Add menengic coffee and mix until it dissolves.
  3. Cook it over low heat until it boils.
  4. Share into demitasses and serve hot.
Note: If you would like it sweet, add 1 tsp sugar with coffee.


  1. says

    I was in Diyarbakir with my husband two years ago during our honeymoon and we hope we will come back there some day :) The coffee cup set is beautiful !

    • says

      Diyarbakir is a very nice place, isn’t it? However, one might gain weight there thanks to scrumptious dishes there! I bought the coffee cup set from an arcade where there are several copper shops in Diyarbakir. There were so many varieties that you can’t decide which to one to buy. Hope you and your husband come here again soon!

  2. kate says

    I really need to know where i can get those coffee cups and set! I love it! Great pictures!

  3. John says

    My brother in law lived in north Iraq, close to Turkish border He used to bring us terebinth berries (Menengic) or Bittim as we call them. Question is the berries are green but inside the skin there is stone like pits which we crunched as kids.
    Tell me do you get rid of pits and only use the green skin to make the coffee?
    Greetings from Sydney

    • says

      Hi John, menengic is found in the south east of Turkey, so I think we have it in common with the border countries. I haven’t seen how it’s turned into that paste like coffee, but I searched and learnt that it’s ground as a whole, nıt just the skins. And the tiny stone like pieces sink in the bottom of the coffee when drinking. The coffee is so creamy, so those pieces are not disturbing.


Leave a Reply

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

Rate this recipe: