Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

On the 29 October is national holiday in Turkey. So cheers and let’s start the day with a Turkish Coffee.
  • By the conquests Sultan Selim I, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, as well as Mecca and Medina, coffee came to the Ottoman Empire in 1517.
  • In these countries coffee-making has been widespread since the middle of the 15th century.
  • The coffee then came almost exclusively from the port city of Mocha in Yemen.
  • In 1554, the first café was opened in the Ottoman capital Constantinople (today: Istanbul).


Turkish Coffee set
Turkish Coffee set
Turkish Coffee set

  • Between 1574 and 1595 there were more than 600 coffee houses in Istanbul alone. The pavilions often offered an impressive view, partly had a decorative pool in the middle and benches along the inner walls. Men could relax here with the coffee, with water pipe and music and doing netwokring.
  • At the end of the 16th century, a coffee ban was issued, which extended to the death penalty for drinking coffee.
  • Since the reform policy of 1839, coffee has been completely legal again.
  • In 1871, Mehmet Efendi* was the first to serve roasted and ground coffee.
  • Through the Ottomans, coffee came to Europe.

Turkish Coffee: Traditional Preparation

Türk Kahvesi – (Turkish Mocha)

  • The Turkish coffee is the most original type of coffee making.
  • You can order the Turk Kahvesi: sade – without sugar, orta – medium sweet and şekerli – sweet.
  • First you need 1 heavily heaped tsp of mocha powder*, 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Mix all together in a Turkish mocha pot*, the so-called Cezve and stir well over glowing charcoal till the coffee foam is rising.
  • Then take the Cezve* off the heat, wait a few seconds. Then put it back on the heat for 2 more times.


Turkish Coffee set
Turkish Coffee sand cooker
Turkish Coffee -cezva

  • Afterwards pour the Turkish Coffee without filtering the coffee grounds into pre-heated cups* and serve.
  • A small candy such as chocolate, baklava or Turkish Delight is often served.
  • After the coffee grounds has set down, the still hot coffee is slurried without tilting the bowl too much to avoid drinking the coffee grounds.
  • For a proper style enjoyment, you will get the right coffee set either in Istanbul on the Egyptian Bazar or from brands like Kütahya Porselen
  • The best thing is to taste on the spot. Take a small Roadtrip along the Aegean coast (Knidos – Datça – Selimiye – Söğüt – Bozburun). Here you can enjoy the Turkish coffee at many stops with a view and a lot of hospitality!
  • Due to its long tradition, UNESCO has included the preparation of Turkish Coffee 2013 in the list of intangible cultural heritage!

Reading coffee grounds

After drinking do not forget to read the coffee grounds!

After the first cup, the saucer is placed on the cup and the whole is turned around. While the coffee grounds is carried on the saucer, say the following saying.
“Nasilsa halim öyle ciksin falim!” (Roughly speaking: How my condition is, my destiny shall be shown).
Wait briefly, take the cup away and interpret the patterns that have formed in the cup when the grounds goes out. Here you can d it online, it is a huge fun for the first coffee in the morning! An overview of the different meanings can be found here.


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