Turkish Coffee | Kahve
Coffee is said to have been introduced to Turkey by Ottoman Governor Özdemir Pasha. Under Ottoman rule, coffee was not well received in Turkey. In fact, the consumption was prohibited by religious leaders in 1511 due to the stimulating effects. The beverage eventually gained popularity and the prohibition was lifted by Sultan Selim in 1524. Shortly after, Istanbul’s first coffeehouse was opened in 1554. Today, coffee persists as an important part of the social and cultural experience. As an illustration, the word for breakfast (kahvaltı) actually means ‘before coffee.’
Turkish coffee is prepared in a special pot call “cezve.” The preparation requires a a very fine ground coffee, sugar and coffee cups. Each cup of coffee requires 2 spoons of coffee, one cup of cold water and sugar to taste. All of the ingredients (water, coffee and sugar) are added to the “cezve” and brought to a boil. The pot is removed from the heat, mixed and returned to the heat to boil for a second time. Turkish coffee is prepared to personal preference with varying amounts of sugar:
Coffee without sugar is “sade”
With a bit of sugar added, coffee is called “az şekerli”
Coffee with a medium amount of sugar is “orta’
Sweet coffee is referred to as “şekerli”
Served in cups similar to espresso mugs, Turkish coffee is typically enjoyed leisurely. This allows time for the coffee grounds to separate from the liquid coffee. The liquid coffee is then consumed leaving the coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup. The coffee grounds that remain are often used by fortune tellers to predict the future.
Indulge in more Refreshing Turkish Beverages
Ayran | Salted Yoghurt
Ayran is a yoghurt based beverage. Although there is no evidence to the origins of ayran, it is believed to have originated in Southern Anatolia as a way to preserve yoghurt.
Lemonade | Limonata
Lemonade is called limonata in Turkish. The ancient Egyptians developed the first lemonade around 500 AD. The beverage was so valued that it was only allowed to be consumed by the Pharaoh.
Raki | Rakı
Raki is considered by many as the national alcoholic beverage of Turkey. Unlike beer or wine, which are produced by fermentation, raki is produced from distilled raisins and aniseed.
Turkish Tea | Çay
Turkish tea is an important part of the Turkish culture. Offered to guests as a symbol of friendship and hospitality, it is served in homes, tea gardens and cafes throughout the country.
Wine | Şarap
Evidence indicates that domestication of the grape occurred between 6,000 – 8,000 years ago in Turkey’s Black Sea Region. Wine has been produced in Turkey for six thousand years.
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