Centuries of Pleasure: Turkish Coffee

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Turkish coffee has a story that defies years and is one of the few things that are known in the world, which is unique to the Turks. With its unique taste and smell, Turkish coffee ads taste to the friendships and conversations. With the shape off the coffee grounds on the bottom of the cup, it shows the dreams of Turkish people who are famous for their hospitality. To tell the importance of Turkish coffee in Turkey, there is a saying known by everyone in Turkey; " A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship."

“Turks Can't Live Without Coffee”

Turkish coffee, offering a flavor equivalent to the memory of 40 years with a single cup, has been a part of Anatolian culture by reaching from Arab geography for centuries. This tradition, which came from Yemen, first reached the Ottoman lands which had commercial points such as spice and silk roads, then to all of Europe.

Charles MacFarlane, a British traveler and novelist who lived in the 18th century, summarized the place of Turkish coffee in Turkish culture with the following words: “Turks cannot live without coffee.”

Tradition Coming from the Past

The history of coffee goes back to the 14th century in the history of Turkey. It is estimated that the word coffee comes from the Arabic word wa Kahwa ve and the word comes from Kaffa, a region where coffee is produced in Abyssinia. The rise of this taste begins with the Ottoman sultans moving from the land that they had gone to conquer, to the palace.

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Coffee beans, one of the traditions of Turkish culture, were introduced to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. In the education system of Yemen, the coffee was consumed a lot for the students to stay awake and dynamic, and it caught the attention of Governor Özdemir Pasha, who served in Yemen, and then he presented it to Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan of the Turkish series. The coffee, which is admired by Kanuni, first finds its place in the coffeehouses after the dinner at the traditional dining tables of the Ottomans and then as a subject of trade. This taste that Europeans who come to the city is met in coffeehouses, had moved to Europe by preserving its taste for years and reached till today.

Chat is in the Coffee Shop, Taste of the Coffee is in the Chat

Hundreds of coffeehouses are opened in Tahtakale in Istanbul after the Ottoman people meet with Turkish coffees. Turkish coffee, which gives pleasure to pleasant conversations in coffeehouses, gets among the indispensable beverages of the public.

Certainly, the characteristics of the lifestyle of the society come to the fore in the rapid spread of coffee in a society. While the people of the Ottoman Empire went to the Mosque to perform their prayers, to the house of commerce to earn their livings, and to their homes to live their family lives. With the arrival of the coffeehouses, they gained a new social habit with the hospitality of Turkish coffee.

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The coffee shops you will find in Tahtakale in Istanbul today are one of the most beautiful legacies of Istanbul. Next to the Spice Bazaar, Tahmis Street is a sacred place for coffee lovers. If you want to buy fresh coffee, like every Istanbulite, you should go to this street where the scent of roasted coffee is absorbed.

Symbol of Entertaining the Guest: Turkish Coffee

The coffee, which was previously loved because of keeping people sober and helping them to lose sleep, gradually became a symbol of respect for serving guests. In order to work in the famous palace kitchen of the Ottoman Empire, even a new official called “coffeemaker” was added to the palace staff.  In fact, it is among the rumors that this officer is chosen among the people who know how to keep secrets and who have great importance.

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In Turkish traditions, those who want to marry first ask for permission from the father of the bride to marry his daughter. During the ceremony of asking permission, the bride candidate is expected to cook Turkish coffee for the guests.  The taste of coffee is one of the details in Turkish traditions that show whether the bride is diligent.

The fact that coffee holds such an important place in Turkish culture is undoubtedly linked to the conversations made with coffee. By one of the coffee makers of Tahmis Street, here are the known mistakes about Turkish coffee, how to keep the coffee fresh and how to cook a good coffee:

The coffee pot where the coffee is cooked is the most important. The coffee pot should be chosen for the number of coffee drinkers.

  • Adding two teaspoons of fresh coffee per person is the most effective measure.
  • If sugar is to be added, it should be made with grounded sugar, not sugar cubes.
  • The temperature of the coffee should be on low heat when cooking.
  • If you are mixing the coffee with teaspoon, it is recommended to mix during cooking while keeping the spoon on its side. Because if the spoon is kept upright, the coffee will be frothy and the side it will be creamy. The creamy coffee is more beautiful than frothy one.
  • It is necessary to drink the water served with the coffee before drinking the coffee. Thus, the taste of coffee is better achieved.
  • To preserve freshness, coffee should be consumed in a sealed and odorless glass jar, stored on the lower shelf of the refrigerator.
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