A short walk in the bylanes of Istanbul reveals much about the city&rsquos loving affair with coffee. The aroma from quaint cafes draws in visitors from far and wide. &ldquoKahve, lütfen&rdquo are the magic words, and a fresh pour arrives on your table. Coffee is one of the more leisurely activities here you can sit down with a cup and read away into the sunset with no prying eyes to dissuade you from a quiet evening. This coffee culture also allows you to immerse yourself in something more intangible here - a tradition that has survived and thrived right from the time of the Ottoman Empire when Turkish coffee found its origin.
How Coffee Came To Turkey
Arabia was the first home of coffee drinkers and coffee houses, which then made pit stops in Egypt and Persia before settling in the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century Istanbul opened its doors to the first coffeehouse in the empire. These spaces thrived in an age of outstanding educational, social, and political activity, allowing for socialising opportunities, even if they were restricted to just men. The culture of coffeehouses was also adopted by the West and soon came to proliferate around the world, making coffee an integral part of our daily lives.
How Turkish Coffee Is Made
A popular Turkish proverb says that a Turkish coffee would remain imprinted on your mind for 40 years. I believe it to be accurate, for each copper cezve (pot) is a powerhouse of flavour and intensity. Made by combining finely ground coffee beans with water, the contents are brought to a frothy stage and often contain sugar (If you&rsquore ordering Turkish Coffee, be sure to mention if you need it without sugar (Sade kahve, please)).
Once the brew is ready, the coffee grinds are added to the cups, which sink to the bottom, leaving the coffee on top unfiltered and potent. An essential part of Turkish culture, UNESCO saw merit in its traditional value and added Turkish coffee to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
Cup Of Fortune-Telling Coffee, Please
In addition to the fragrance and potency, what sets Turkish coffee apart from its contemporaries is its ability to predict the future. Sounds mystic It is a common practice in the country to use the thick grounds left on the bottom of one&rsquos cup to peer into the future. Find it hard to imagine Millennials will remember Professor Trelawney&rsquos Divination class in Harry Potter when she reads the future using tea leaves. Something along the same lines but less grim, we hope. Even without the charm of fortune-telling, Turkish Coffee will appeal to coffee enthusiasts who appreciate a good, fresh, strong cuppa.