Do you know why it is called Turkish coffee? It is because it refers to the preparation method of coffee in the Turkish way. Turkish Coffee means finely grounded coffee. I have to tell you that Turkey doesn’t have its own coffee beans. Imported Arabica type of coffee beans grinds at special coffee grinding machines so it becomes Turkish coffee. When you first see it, it may look like cocoa powder however it is not. Special machines grind the coffee beans into micron size particles.
It is served in specially designed coffee cups. It is very important to have enough amount of foam on the top, which shows how much you are good at making coffee.
For serving, Turkish coffee has its own traditional method. It is always served with something sweet like Turkish delights or chocolate on the side and a glass of water. From start to finish and serving; Turkish coffee is a special ceremony for us. This special drink helps us to socialize with our friends.
The Story of Turkish Coffee
Ottoman Empire’s Governor of Yemen, Özdemir Paşa (Pasha) was the first person who introduced coffee to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. He introduced the coffee to Sultan Süleyman (Süleyman the Magnificent) and he liked the taste of this new beverage. Then Ottoman Empire started to bring coffee from Yemen.
Even there is a song called Kahve Yemenden Gelir (coffee comes from Yemen) in Turkey, which points out that coffee literally comes from Yemen.
The First Coffee House
It is known that the first coffee house was established in the Tahtakale neighborhood about five centuries ago. After the first one opened, it spread rapidly throughout all Istanbul neighborhoods and Ottoman borders. At that time, these coffee houses have become the main places for socializing. Today, coffee houses in Turkey continue to be a place where men gather to socialize and play backgammon or card games over cups of tea and coffee.
The below picture shows the Ottoman period’s coffee house where the Ottoman men were socializing by drinking Turkish coffee and smoking hookah.
The below picture shows a noble Ottoman Lady who is drinking coffee and eating chocolate with it. She was probably drinking her coffee without any sugar and that is why she was eating chocolate as a sweetener.
The Importance of Turkish coffee for the Turks
In Turkish culture, when a man proposes to his girlfriend, they don’t just go and marry. There is another very important step that needs to be taken care of. The man has to go to his girlfriend’s home and ask for the permission of her father to marry his daughter. If the girl’s father says ‘Yes you can marry’, then the girl makes Turkish coffee for all guests to celebrate, however, the girl prepares her future husband’s coffee differently than the guests’ ones.
The girl puts salt into her boyfriend’s coffee while preparing the coffee. And then when she starts to serve Turkish coffee, she gives the salty one to her future husband. Once her boyfriend tastes the salty coffee and continues to drink it without any complaint, then it means that he accepts her girlfriend with all her faults and he accepts to get along with her in every situation.
This is only a single example shows that how much Turkish coffee is important for the Turks. So if you are planning to marry a Turkish woman, prepare yourself to drink salty Turkish coffee. So; before anyone gets married to a Turkish woman, let’s make a superb Turkish coffee.
- 2 cups water use Turkish Coffee cup “cezve” as a cup
- 4 teaspoon Turkish Coffee extra finely ground coffee
Put water and coffee in the coffee pot. Place the heat at lowest level and stir the coffee continually until it boils.
Ones it boils, foams will start to be visible and rise to the top of pot. When the foams starts to rise, remove it from the heat and transfer the coffee foams to the Turkish coffee cups evenly with using teaspoon.
Put the pot back to the heat and reheat the remaining coffee about 5 seconds or until it boils again and pour it to the coffee cups.
Serve with water.
If you want, you can also serve chocolate or Turkish delight on a small plate.
Notes: If you are going to use sugar at your Turkish Coffee, use below measurements. Below measurements is for one cup Turkish coffee serving. If you are making coffee for more than one person, I suggest you to make their coffee one by one separately.
a. Non-sweetened (no sugar added), b. Little sweet (add ½ cube sugar), c. A bit more sweeter (add 1 cube sugar), d. Sweet (add 2 cubes sugar).