Turkish Coffee

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Neither coffee nor the coffeehouse is the heart’s behest, The heart seeks friendship – coffee is a pretext. Anonymous

Turkish coffee, Türk Kahvesi, is a coffee making method used by the Turks. There is a traditional way of making and offering of Turkish coffee. It is grinded as thin as flour, boiled with water and sugar (or without sugar) slowly in a copper cezve, coffee pot on a brasier and served in small cups. It is necessary to wait a little for the coffee ground to settle. Turkish coffee is served with water used to clean the mouth. Remember that Turkish coffee should be served köpüklü, foamy.

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Coffee was first brought from Yemen to Istanbul by a coffee-lover Özdemir Paşa during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, Sultan Solomon the Magnificient. It soon became one of the tastes in the saray, palace, then in the konak, mansions and in public. The first cafe or kahvehane opened in Tahtakale and soon spreaded all over the city. These cafes changed the social life and consequently people got together in the cafes, played satranç, chess, tavla, backgammon, read poetry and talked literature. Turkish coffee was taken to the rest of the world by the tradesmen and statesmen visiting Istanbul and it became a popular Turkish taste all over the world.

Characteristics of Turkish Coffee

Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi is no doubt the most famous Turkish coffee brand serving Istanbulians since 1871 and all over the world since 1930’s (www.mehmetefendi.com). Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi says Turkish coffee:

  • Is the world’s oldest coffee brewing method.
  • Consists of foam, coffee and grounds.
  • Remains on the palate longer than all other types of coffee thanks to its soft and velvety foam.
  • Remains hot for a long time thanks to its delicious foam, which keeps its form for several minutes after the coffee is poured.
  • Cools much more slowly than other varieties of coffee as it is served in thin cups, thus prolonging the drinking pleasure.
  • Has an unforgettable flavour thanks to its thick, syrupy consistency that stimulates the taste buds.
  • Is thicker, softer and more aromatic than other types of coffee.
  • Is easily discernible from other types of coffee due to its unique aroma and foam.
  • Is the only coffee that can be boiled.
  • Is the only coffee that can be used to predict the future.
  • Is unique in that its grounds are left in the cup: the coffee is not filtered or strained because the grounds settle at the bottom of the cup.
  • Does not have to be sweetened after it has been poured as the sugar is added during preparation.

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How to make Turkish Coffee?

Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi says it only takes two minutes to prepare Turkish coffee:

  • Use the coffee cup as a measuring cup, pour one cup of drinking water in the cezve per cup of Turkish Coffee (the quality of the water affects the quality of the coffee).
  • Add two teaspoons of coffee (5 g) and two teaspoons of sugar (as desired) per cup.
  • Blend the coffee and sugar with a spoon over a low flame.
  • When the coffee boils over a second time, pour the remaining coffee into the coffee cups.
  • Allow the remaining coffee to brew a while longer before adding it to the cups.
  • It is customary to serve Turkish Coffee with a glass of water. The water prepares the mouth for the coffee’s flavour.
  • When serving a large group, it is best to prepare semi-sweet Turkish coffee.

How to make Turkish coffee (Youtube) »

Did you know?

  • The origin of coffee is Kaffa in Ethiopia.
  • Turkish coffee is the oldest coffee-making method.
  • Turkish coffee is the only type of coffee that is served with the coffee ground.
  • Coffee was brought to Turkey in the middle of 16th century and the first coffee shops opened in Tahtakale by Halepli Hakem in 1552 and Suriyeli (Syrian) Şemsi in 1554. The coffeshops then were cultural centers where polite and intellectual people attented.

Best Turkish Coffee Shops in Istanbul

One of the top things to do during your Istanbul trip is ordering a Turkish coffee at one of the many Turkish coffee shops in Istanbul, the city where the coffee was introduced to the whole world. Below is a short list of the most popular Turkish coffee shops in Istanbul:

  • Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Tahmis Sokak No:66 Eminönü
  • Mandabatmaz Olivia Geçidi No:1/A Beyoğlu mandabatmaz.com.tr
  • Şark Kahvesi Yağlıkçılar Cad. No:134 Kapalıçarşı sarkkahvesi.com
  • Karabatak Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Paşa Mah. Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No. 7 Karaköy, Beyoğlu karabatakkarakoy.com
  • Nev-i Cafe Abdul Ezel Pasa Cad. Haraççıbaşı Sok. No: 2 Ayakapı, Unkapanı nevicafe.com
  • Çorlulu Ali Paşa Medresesi Çemberlitaş, Beyazıt
  • Niyazi Bey’in Türk Kahvesi Kadıköy Fish Market, Serasker Cad. No: 4/A Kadıköy
  • Bebek Kahvesi Located behind MacDonals, Bebek
  • Kahve Dünyası Coffee World
  • Ceneviz Kafe Fircaci Sok. No: 4 Galata – Located near the Galata Tower
  • Fazil Bey’in Türk Kahvesi Kadikoy Fish Market, Serasker Cad. No:1 Kadıköy – Located opposite Migros
  • Pierre Loti Kahvesi Eyup
  • Çinaraltı Kahvesi Çengelköy, Üsküdar
  • Sade Kahve Rumelihisarı, Sarıyer

Turkish Cofffee Dictionary

Az şekerli (kahve) coffee with little sugar cezve small copper pot for making Turkish coffee dibek large stone or wooden mortar used to make Turkish coffee e.g. dibek kahvesi fal, kahve fali fortune telling falcı fortune teller Gönül ne kahve ister ne kahvehane, gönül muhabbet ister kahve bahane. (Literally) Heart wants neither coffee nor coffee shop, heart wants just a friendly chat, coffee is just an excuse. kahverengi brown, coffee color kuru kahve freshly roasted and ground coffee before brewing, Turkish coffee orta (kahve) medium coffee şekerli (kahve) coffee with sugar . . . Türk kahvesi alabilir miyim? Can I have a Turkish coffee with. . .? . . . Türk kahvesi istiyorum. I would like a Turkish coffee with. . . telve coffee ground

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