A famous quote known by all coffee lovers is that, “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love.” This proverb acts as an exact description for Turkish Coffee.
He brought it to the attention of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Earlier in Ottoman Empire, the strong coffee was considered a drug and its intake was forbidden.
The staff working in Sultan’s harem used mortars to finely ground the coffee. Then they brewed it using a small brass pot known as the Ibrik or the cezve. Professional coffee makers, known as Kahveci Usta, who served the sultans in extravagant ceremonies. The beverage is traditionally served in a small porcelain cup called a kahve finjanı.
The Memory of Turkish Coffee
Turkish coffee is a means to a social affair. People of this land believe that, “The memory of a good cup of Turkish coffee lasts 40 years”. The tradition of coffee drinking symbolize hospitality and friendship.
The Rise of Kahvehane
Many people meet at coffeehouses to converse over coffee. Coffee means a welcoming gesture to the visitors. Coffeehouses (kahvehane) were first opened in the Tahtakale neighborhood of Istanbul almost five centuries ago. In time, it was one of the desired drinks of men in the public sphere, and of woman in the private sphere.
In the Ottoman Empire, the treasured coffee was named “Black Pearl”. UNESCO inscribed the special form of preparation, brewing techniques, and rich communal culture as a part of Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
About Traditions and Superstitions
Superstition around the grounds left after drinking Turkish coffee. Therefore, some believe that the patterns of the coffee grounds can serve as a method of fortune telling known as tasseography.
When a family has to ask the hand of the girl and the blessings of her parents, the bridegroom parents must visit the her family. During this meeting, the bride-to-be prepares and serve Turkish coffee to the guests.
Another tradition for the bride-to-be is to add salt instead of sugar in the cup of the bridegroom. On one hand, the intake of coffee without any displeasure describes the groom as a good-tempered and patient man. On the other hand, in some parts of the country it symbolizes lack of desire on the part of the girl for marriage.