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Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

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Turkish coffee is made by 100% Arabica medium-roast beans in a mortar and pestle, or grinding them very fine in a coffee mill.

It was circa 450 years ago that Suleiman the Magnificents Governor of the Yemen, Ozdemir Pasha brought coffee from the Yemen into the Ottoman palace. It was in 1615 that Venetian, and in 1650 that Marsilian merchants introduced Turkish Coffee to the world. The Italian voyager Pietro della Valle presented his friends with this drink he had discovered and had come to enjoy tremendously. In 1669 the Ottoman Ambassador Hossohbet Nuktedan Suleiman Aga served Turkish Coffee to Parisian high society and made it a privilege to be invited to his residence. In 1683, with the invasion of Vienna by the Ottoman army, coffee made its entrance to the city. If it had not been for a translator who knew what the beans were, sacks full of coffee thought to be camel food were to be dumped into the Danube river. Coffee also made its way into the history of music: J.S. Bach wrote his famous Coffee Cantate solely for his love of coffee. As for social history: the French writer known for his sympathy for Turks and who spent most of his time in coffee shops now has one to his name in Eyup, one of the aldest a quarters of Istanbul: the Café Pierre Loti.

Among the famous names of the 17th Century onwards people known for their passionate consumption of the beverage were Madame de Pompadour, Alexandre Dumas, André Gide, Molière, Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac.

Obviously, Turkish Coffee came to take its pivotal role in Turkish every-day life. Social life formed around coffee shops. The neighbourhood of Taht-ul kale, known as Tahtakale today, was the center of social activity with its 55 coffee shops, employing more than 200 people. In time, Turkish Coffee not only influenced Turkish social life, it also paved the way for "allaturca" traditions such as extreme hospitality, and asking a girl's hand in marriage by visiting her home and having her prepare and serve Turkish Coffee.

It goes without saying that, through coffee, Turks have been able to carry the main notion surrounding coffee culture in Turkey to the world: that of conviviality.
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Last Updated: 13 Jun 2007 15:43:57 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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