Turkish coffee was a drink for the wealthy in the 15th century. Ottoman Sultans first tried coffee in 1450s when merchants brought the beans found in Ethiopia to the Ottoman Empire through Yemen. Later, mastic flavoring called "Yemen gum" was added to the coffee. Today this mastic-flavored type of coffee is known as "damlasakizli kahve" and is specific to Turkey.
Quickly coffee ceremonies emerged, Turkish coffee benefits were being discussed. Only wealthy could afford the “magic fruit”. Sultan always carried sack of coffee beans on his trips.
In 1683 the Battle of Vienna took place where Ottoman Empire invaded the imperial city of Vienna. The Ottomans were loosing and left the battle fields in a hurry deserting sacks of coffee at the gates of Vienna. This is how Europe got its coffee.
UNESCO “Non-Material Heritage” added coffee culture and tradition in Turkey to its list in 2013.
With very little variation the question of how to make Turkish coffee is usually answered the same way:
Besides the amazing aroma that coffee acquires through the certain cooking technique, there is a type of coffee specific to Aegean region of Turkey called "damlasakizli". Damlasakizi is a natural flavoring obtained from the mastic tree. The flavor is very popular in Turkey and is added to sweets, ice-cream and coffee. Go for a cup of damlasakizli coffee to experience the regional taste.
Turkish cups for coffee are tiny porcelain vessels with a handle. Served with a small saucer, the sets are usually designed in the Turkish-Islamic style. Porcelain used for the sets comes from Iznik and Kutahya - the largest ceramics production cities in Turkey.
The metallic case, usually made of copper, is used for keeping the coffee hot for as long as possible.
Check out “Coffee break” collection at Pera Museum with Turkish cups and the history of coffee tradition in Turkey.
Slowly savor your three-four sips of coffee that fit in the tiny coffee cups. Take your time. Coffee is a social drink. Indulge in the conversation you are having and make a small sip every now and then.
A little piece of cube sugar or Turkish delight usually accompany coffee in Turkey if you ordered it "sa-de", i.e. cooked without sugar. See if you can stay out of sweets to experience the amazing coffee aroma fully.
Remember that the coffee grounds on the bottom of the cup have a bitter taste and are not for drinking.
The coffee grounds can be used for fortune telling, for scrubbing your face and body or even fertilizing home flowers!
Coffee benefits have been a subject of debate for centuries. Researchers finally agreed on a list of good from drinking coffee (see below). The condition for benefiting from the drink is to consume it without milk and sugar. Generally it is advised to enjoy no more than one or two cups per day to "qualify" for the benefits:
This article discusses in detail the above benefits of drinking coffee and provides some background data.
What you do get for sure from drinking coffee is unbeatable pleasure. Enjoy your drink and stay healthy!
Traditionally Turks have been grinding their coffee in a manual hand grinder. Every household had a manual grinder. With time automatic coffee grinders and pre-ground beans from stores have replaced the manual grinders yet true coffee gourmets still use the old-style grinders.
Turkish coffee pot is a vessel which comes in different sizes with a long handle. It is known as ibrik, turka or jazva in different countries. The pot can be made of copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminium or even ceramics, silver and gold.
Notice a little brim, modern cezves have two brims, for easy pouring your coffee into a cup. The long handle prevents arms from burning. It may be made of wood, silicon or same material as the cezve itself.
Cezve is heated on coals (usually at historical coffee shops) or on top stove (at home). Today modern electrical coffee makers gain popularity but nothing beats the taste of a coffee prepared in a cezve on coals.
... Delicious sip can’t live without it
Deep dark mystery captivates
It lifts me up awakes my senses
Stimulates and fascinates ...
Bon apetit. Enjoy your drink. (Afiyet olsun in Turkish).