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Why is Turkish Coffee Unique?

DEFINITION AND HISTORY

Did you know that Turkish coffee is the name of the method of making coffee invented in the 16th century?

Turkish Coffee is the name given to a type of coffee whose preparation and brewing techniques were invented by the Turks. It has a unique taste, froth, aroma, brewing technique and presentation in other words it has its own identity and tradition.

The first coffee was made in the Arabian Peninsula by boiling coffee cherries. The new method invented by the Turks revealed coffee’s true flavor and peerless aroma. The Turks introduced coffee to Europe where for many years it was prepared and consumed as Turkish Coffee.

Turkish Coffee is made from high quality arabica coffee beans from Central and South America that are blended and carefully roasted, then very finely ground. The coffee is mixed with water and the desired amount of sugar and cooked in a “cezve”, or Turkish coffeepot. The coffee is served in small cups. The coffee must be left to stand for a short time after serving to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup.

In contrast to other brewing methods, it is especially important that the coffee comes to a boil while brewing. The finely ground coffee is brought to a slow boil over low heat.

Thanks to its strong body, delicious flavour and long-lasting aroma, a cup of steaming hot Turkish coffee is a guaranteed favourite with all coffee lovers.


HISTORY


Istanbul was introduced to coffee in 1543 by Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen, who had grown to love the drink while stationed in that country.

Prepared in a cezve or “gugum” (copper vessel) using the technique invented by the Turks, the drink became known as Turkish Coffee.

The Turkish public became acquainted with coffee through the establishment of coffeehouses; the first coffeehouse opened in the district of Tahtakale in 1554 and others rapidly cropped up all over the city. Coffeehouses and coffee culture soon became an integral part of Istanbul social culture; people came here throughout the day to read books and beautiful texts, play chess and backgammon and discuss poetry and literature.

As coffee became a staple in palace cuisine as well as in private homes, its consumption increased dramatically. The raw beans were roasted in pans and then ground in mortars. The coffee was then brewed in copper pots (cezve) and served with great care to esteemed friends.

Thanks to the efforts of merchants and travelers who passed through Istanbul, and even Ottoman ambassadors, Turkish Coffee’s renown soon spread to Europe and ultimately to the whole world.


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