From coffee to tea
- When the Turks expanded the Ottoman Empire on Persian territory, they also brought along their way of making coffee.
- In the 16th century, coffee was first used medically.
- The first coffee houses (qhaveh-khaneh) were built on the famous Naqsh-e-Jahan Square in Isfahan in 1603.
- They became popular places to spend free time, attracting people from all walks of life, but especially workers, artisans and tradespeople.
- Here one met to exchange opinions on social, economic and political issues, but also to talk in a friendly atmosphere about financial and family problems. Here even jobseekers and employers found each other.
- In the month of fasting, the coffee houses were used as a cultural center with religious lectures, stories and songs.
- After tea was easier to come by through China’s Silk Road and was cultivated in some northern Iranian areas tea (chai) replaced coffee as a beverage in the coffee houses.
- From the second half of the 19th century, in the coffee houses became only places for relaxation, where tea and food was served.
- In recent years, some of the traditional tea houses have been restored or rebuilt to preserve cultural heritage, such as the Amir Kabir Teahouse in northern Tehran.
- Although instant coffee accounts for 90 % of coffee consumption today, coffee beans and the Third Wave are on the rise in Iran.
- In the big cities, new cafes such as Sam Cafe, Cafe Pesto and Negative Cafe and Barista like Mehran Mirjani are taking part in the World Barista Championships.
Turkish coffee, strong and sweet, served with coffee grounds in the cup.