In the summer of 1991 while I was in Cyprus, my grandad headed to the local kahve which was known to be the local coffee shop where all the men after work would gather and play cards, gamble and catch up on their daily activities. They would smoke cigars and drink Turkish coffee for endless hours. This is what we call tradition or Adet in the Turkish community.
I would quickly eat my dinner and rush over there with my sister and sit on the steps outside waiting for my grandad to notice me. Women or children were not allowed in and we would wait patiently until he finished his round of cards and usher over the coffee boy, whispered in his ear and handed him a Turkish lira. The boy would open the Pepsi max cooler and grab us two coca colas, with straws in a glass bottle, we would sit on the steps sipping and enjoying the breeze, watching the sun set to the sounds of howling street dogs.
Turkish coffee is not just a coffee, it is more than that. It is tradition, it is a way of socializing and a part of our heritage.
My grandma would enjoy hers in a totally different way.
I would wake up to the sounds of her friends from the village in the living room. We had a wooden door with a frosted glass panel, separating the bedroom and the seating area. In the early morning around 10am my grandma’s two neighbours and my `hala` which means aunty in Turkish, would come over and they would make Turkish coffees and gossip about the daily news or any village gossip that was circulating. I naturally would listen and earwig and laugh and joke around with my sister. My most vivid memories are of them turning the coffee cups over so their fortunes could be read by my aunty who was very infamous in regard to reading the cups. We call this `Fal ` (telling your fortune) the inside sludge which was what was read would foretell your future.
Once you drank your coffee you would do two circular movements swishing the coffee round and tip it upside down on the coffee plate and leave it to rest until it was your turn to have your reading.
Where did Tuskish Coffee Originate From?
From the days of the Ottoman Empire through to present, coffee has played an important role in lifestyle and culture. First brought to Istanbul in 1555 by two Syrian traders, coffee became known as the “milk and chess players and thinkers”
By the mid -17th century, Turkish coffee became part of elaborate ceremonies involving the Ottoman court. Coffee makers with the help of 40 servants helped prepared and serve coffee to the sultan.
In ancient times, women received intensive trading in the harem on the proper technique of preparing Turkish coffee. Prospective husbands would judge a women’s merits based on the taste of her coffee.
Even today 2020, when a young man’s family calls to ask a girl’s parents for her hand in marriage, a formal coffee is served even in the most modern households.
Preparing A Turkish Coffee
Add water into each small coffee cup and use this to measure each cup of coffee
Place a heaped teaspoon of coffee for each cup your preparing
Add sugar to taste if required, you have orta which is a quarter teaspoon and sekerli which is half a teaspoon or no sugar which is Sade
Bring to boil, stirring occasionally the leave to simmer. Remove the foam as its simmering and place a teaspoon of foam inside each coffee cup.
Remove once it starts to bubble and form a little a dip in the middle, take off the heat.
Allow the coffee to settle for a minute then begin pouring into each cup half and half until its filled to the top. The foam will nicely form a nice topping which we call kopuk.
Serve with a side of cold water to refresh your palate and get rid of the grains from the bottom of the cup
As I love Turkish coffee so much, it was only right that I should include this within my range of candles. My memories growing up and my visits to Istanbul have helped me to create a beautiful candle with a scent reminiscent of this beautiful city. When you walk into the room my ISTANBUL CANDLE`S scent will makes you want a Turkish coffee.
Author: Seniz Azizoglu