Turkish coffee… An important symbol of hospitality and friendship, an indispensable treat for marriage and feasts. The coffee that we drink while chatting with a friend we haven’t seen for a long time, while we have a brief chat with our loved ones when we want to reward ourselves at the end of a tiring day… The Turkish Coffee has a 40-year memory and is cooked in its own unique way… It is a legendary taste that has been sweetening our important moments!
What Makes Turkish Coffee Different From Other Coffees?
Turkish Coffee is a cooking method that has survived from the Ottoman Empire, which has an important place in Turkish culture. Having a special preparation process, it has an important role with its unique taste, foam, smell, and presentation. It is the only coffee served with grounds. The name of the brewing method is known as Turkish coffee because it was first discovered by the Turks, and it is different from other coffees due to its special presentation. Turkish coffee can be served with Turkish delight, cologne, or water. Both Turkish coffee and the way it is presented are almost like a legacy.
Turkish Culture and The Adventure of Turkish Coffee
The origin of coffee is thought to be in the Arabian peninsula and coffee was obtained by boiling the coffee fruit in this place. But the use of Turkish coffee dates back to 575 BC and over the years, with the special preparation process and cooking method, Turkish coffee has gained its own flavor and aroma.
According to another study, coffee spread to Iran, Egypt, and Turkey through travelers at the end of the 15th century. There are two rumors put forward that the Turks met with coffee. The first of these is the bringing of coffee to Istanbul by two Syrian entrepreneurs in 1554. According to the second rumor, during the time of Yavuz Sultan Selim, Yemen Governor Özdemir Pasha brought coffee beans to Istanbul, and thanks to him, the palace met coffee. The interest in coffee increased day by day. Even people started to work as coffee makers (kahvecibaşı in Turkish) in the palace. These people were chosen from reliable people because these special coffee makers would attend the sultan‘s most secret and most important meetings and serve coffee there. Since coffee was very important for the sultan, water to drink was started to be brought from Gümüşsuyu, in addition to coffee. Then, over time, Turkish coffee culture began to spread to homes. Turkish coffee started to be cooked in pots and coffee pots with a new method by the Turks. In 1554, the first coffeehouse was opened in Tahtakale, Istanbul. Then, with the fame of coffee, many coffee houses began to open.
Turkish Coffee and Its Cultural Importance
It would not be an exaggeration to claim that coffee is one of the leading elements of social life and culture in Turkey and that it even creates a culture on its own. The fact that it is a part of pre-marriage ceremonies, that it is served to the guests, that it is an indispensable drink of conversations, that the shapes in the ground at the bottom of the cup are believed to foretell the future, and that it is interpreted are the best proofs that coffee has an important place in all areas of life.
Like the “tea time” in England, the coffee time has occurred and this time has become a period that people drink coffee. Turkish coffee started to be drunk between morning and afternoon meals. Even another word was created using the word coffee: “breakfast“. It means, the first meal of the day in Turkish, means things to be eaten before drinking coffee.
Turkish coffee is also drunk in important events such as asking for a girl’s hand in marriage, hospital or pre-marriage activities, etc. Turkish Coffee is always served to the future groom. The reason why this coffee is cooked by the bride-to-be is that the flavor of the coffee is a test.
The coffee grounds that remain at the bottom of the coffee and are not smoked have also led to the emergence of the fortune-telling tradition unique to Turkish coffee. It has become the only type of coffee used to tell the future with coffee fortunes. By interpreting the shapes in the grounds and the traces left in the cup, predictions are made about the future of the person drinking the coffee.
Furthermore, in a Turkish proverb, the coffee culture was supported and it was said that “A cup of coffee has forty years of memory”.
Features of Turkish Coffee
This special coffee has many different features. We may list them as follows;
- Being the oldest method of cooking coffee in the world, its foam consists of coffee and grounds.
- Thanks to its soft and velvety foam, it is the type of coffee that retains its taste for the longest time on the palate.
- Thanks to this delicious foam, which can stay shapeless for a few minutes, it can stay hot for a long time.
- As it is served in a thin cup, it cools down more slowly than other types of coffee, thus providing a longer-lasting coffee enjoyment.
- With its intense syrupy consistency, it over-stimulates the taste buds in the mouth and the taste remains in the memory.
- Compared to other types of coffee, it is more viscous, soft, and aromatic.
- It can be easily distinguished from other coffees with its unique scent and special foam.
- It is unique because the coffee in the cup does not need to be filtered.
- Since sugar is added during preparation, there is no need for later sweetening as in other coffees.
- Although it is drunk frequently, it does not cause bloating since it is not much in quantity.
- Compared to other types of coffee, it contains less caffeine in one drink.
- It is the only type of coffee that is offered ready-to-drink as sugar is optionally added during cooking.
As can be seen above, Turkish coffee is different from other coffees and it is very beneficial.
What are the Turkish Coffee Types?
Turkey’s coffee culture has developed rapidly since the history of Turkish coffee and it is infused into our traditions and culture. When you think of coffee, the first thing that comes to mind is a delicious and foamy Turkish coffee. It is a type of coffee that is consumed a lot in Turkey. People are often asked how they drink coffee before being served. For each cup, a cup of water and 2 teaspoons of Turkish coffee are placed in the coffee pot. After mixing the coffee, which should be mixed before it is heated, the cezve should be brewed slowly over low heat. The slower the coffee is cooked, the more delicious it will be. The foam of the coffee that starts to boil is taken into unique cups, boiled well again, and served. Additionally, you may also choose the coffee type that appeals to you. There are many types of Turkish coffee in our country. These are ;
- Plain Turkish Coffee
- Turkish Coffee with A Little Sugar
- Mildly-Sweetened Turkish Coffee
- Turkish Coffee with Sugar
- Turkish Coffee with Milk
- Turkish Dibek Coffee
- Menengiç Turkish Coffee (Pistachio Coffee)
- Süvari Turkish Coffee
- Turkish Sand Coffee
Benefits of Turkish Coffee
In addition to being a part of our culture and playing an important role in a balanced and healthy diet, Turkish coffee is also the most consumed beverage after tea in Turkey. A cup of unsweetened coffee contains an average of 15 – 18 calories and it reduces the risk of catching diseases. Let’s see how beneficial Turkish coffee is for us!
- Regularly consuming coffee reduces the risk of colon cancer and large intestine by 25%, and the risk of bowel cancer by approximately 45%.
- Drinking a cup of Turkish coffee after a meal helps the digestive system to relax.
- It provides energy to the body and allows it to stay awake for a longer period of time.
- When it is drunk without sugar, it is good for stomach and weight problems.
- It lowers cholesterol and helps protect cardiovascular health.
- Since it has a stimulating feature, the brain is made more open to signals.
- It also affects the thinking power in a very positive way.
- It has a pain reliever effect of 40%.
- It significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- It facilitates breathing.
- It helps prevent diabetes and Parkinson’s diseases.
- It significantly reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- It relieves stress and reduces the effects of depression.
- It accelerates the metabolism and helps to burn fat.
NOTE: Drinking Turkish coffee every day gives energy to the body. However, it should not be forgotten that the harmful effects of coffee may occur as a result of excessive coffee consumption. For this reason, Turkish coffee can be consumed every day, provided that it is not overdone. The best time for Turkish coffee is 1 hour before or after meals.
Turkish Coffee Recipe and Cooking
First of all, the material of the foamy Turkish coffee is important. Yes, as everyone knows, the trio of water, coffee, and sugar is cooked. It is on fire, but the details of this process are not that simple. If you want to taste the most delicious coffee, you must consider the following steps.
- Put a cup of water for each cup of coffee in the coffee pot and put 1 teaspoon of coffee and 1 teaspoon of sugar for each cup of coffee.
- Mix well, place the cezve on low heat.
- Never stir and wait for the coffee slowly to reach boiling point.
- When it starts to boil, distribute the foam that forms on the top into the cups.
- Boil again and distribute the remainder into the cups.
Things You Didn't Know About Turkish Coffee
We talked about the history, cultural value, and benefits of Turkish coffee. What about more? Now, we will explain what we didn’t know until now.
- With the coffeehouse opening for the first time in Tahtakale, Turkish coffee spread all over Istanbul in a short time. And in these coffee houses, people started to read books, play chess, and chat. Coffee has been associated with all pleasant moments.
- Europe met coffee thanks to the Turks. Europeans adhered to the way Turkish coffee was cooked and consumed it just like the Turks.
- The flavor of the coffee comes from the slow cooking of the fresh and finely ground coffee beans in the coal fire.
- Turkish coffee is also the only type of coffee in the world that is served with grounds.
- Turkish coffee, cooked with the oldest cooking method in the world, stays hot longer thanks to its foam.
- There is a reason why coffee is served with water. In the past, guests were offered both water and coffee. If the guest drinks the water first, it means that the guest is hungry. So people ate first, then drank coffee. If the guest drinks the coffee first, it means s/he is full.
- There is a reason why Turkish coffee is served with Turkish delight. According to rumors, in the past, people used to serve Turkish delight with their coffee as a way to ask their guests about their satisfaction. If the guest who drinks the coffee eats Turkish delight, it means that s/he was satisfied with his/her hospitality.
Turkish Coffee Museum
Turkey’s first and only “Coffee Museum”, was opened in the Safranbolu district of Karabük and the museum tries to change people’s perspective on coffee.
In the museum, which has a 500-year history in Anatolia and revives the forgotten coffee culture, there are copies of the cups in which Sultan Abdulhamid Han and the Founder of the Turkish Republic Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk drank coffee. In the museum, there are also 100-150 years old coffee pots, cups, hand grinders, roasting machines and pans, scales, water cubes and sugar containers. In this museum, the intangible and tangible heritage of Turkish coffee is presented in the best way.