Around Turkish coffee

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Turkish coffee or Türk kahvesi is rightfully considered as one of the main symbols of Turkey along with Hagia Sophia and Nazar boncuğu eye-shaped amulet. In this country there is a proverb “Bir fincan kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır” which means “A cup of coffee will be remembered for forty years”.

Proper Türk kahvesi should be prepared in jezva over low heat. But in many modern coffee houses in Turkey baristas just pours the coffee with boiling water from italian style espresso machine. In that case, it’s anything, but not Turkish coffee.

However, if you are accustomed to step in step with progress you can buy special automatic electric Turkish coffee maker. Well-cooked Türk kahvesi have foam from small bubbles on the top like at the photo below.

Well-cooked Turkish coffee

There are four types of Turkish coffee depends of sugar:

  • “Sade” or “şekersiz” – just coffee without sugar
  • “Az şekerli” – slightly sweet with half of a spoon of sugar
  • “Orta” – medium sweet with one spoon of sugar
  • “Şekerli” – sweet coffee with two spoons of sugar

Türk kahvesi at Sur Ici Antik Kahve Evi

Some facts about Turkish coffee

  • Mostly Turkish coffee is served with small glass of cold water. But in Erzurum province it is ussualy served with apple juice (elma suyu).
  • As you can understand coffee is not just a drink for Turkish people. It’s a part of local traditions. For example in many parts of Turkey Türk kahvesi is an element of traditional Turkish wedding custom.
  • Reading the coffee grains for the fortune telling (tasseography or tasseomancy) is popular in Turkey especially for Eastern part of the country. In some places you can find the masters of this case like “Beyaz kafe” in Van.
  • In some regions of Eastern Turkey like Diyarbakır Kurds call Turkish coffee Kurdish. But originally “Kurdish coffee” is different type with name “Dibek Kahvesi” and has special method of cooking.
  • When Türk kahvesi is cooked on the sand it is called “Mısır Kahvesi”.
  • The most famous trademark of Turkish coffee is “Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi”. It is popular far beyond the borders of Turkey. Another famous marks are “Hisar kahve” and “Kocatepe”. This coffee is also good but has different taste. Also in every Turkish city you can find a place to buy local roasted coffee.
  • The best Türk kahvesi I have ever drunk is from “Sur Ici Antik Kahve Evi” in Diyarbakır. In addition I can recommend “Tahmis Kahvesi” cafe in the center of Gaziantep. According to legend it was founded in 1635 .
  • The standard price of Turkish coffee is 5-7 TRY. The cheapest coffee I have ever found is from municipal cafe in Köyceğiz – 2 TRY. The most expensive was from one cafe in the center of Van – 12 TRY just for small cup but maybe you can find even more expensive.

Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi with jezva as a gift

Sur Ici Antik Kahve Evi

Address: Dabanoğlu Mahallesi, Çakmak Sk. No:6, 21300 Sur/Diyarbakır

Tahmis Kahvesi

Address: Suyabatmaz Mahallesi, Suyabatmaz Mh. Şehitler Cd. Eski Buğday Pazarı No :21, Elmacı Pazarı Civarı, 27000 Şahinbey/Gaziantep

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