Turkey is a land of customs. We can say that all of these customs are kept in a treasure box and both the locals and the visitors try to open the box to release them all. Traditional Turkish coffee may be the best known among the others as you can see them anywhere; at home, in offices, in restaurants. It is a way of presenting Turkish hospitality in an easy way. That's why our ancesters say that "a cup of Turkish coffee guarantees fourty years of friendship". It is correct. Because when served you will love it and never forget the taste left in your mouth.
What makes Turkish coffee different from the others is about the method of its preperation. Roasted and finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a special pot called "cezve". It is the only coffee in the world which is served with the grounds inside the cup. The coffee can be prepared with or without sugar.
Traditional Turkish coffee is now an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turks confirmed by UNESCO.
Turkish Coffee originates from Yemen dating back to the 15th century and early 16th century it spread to Cairo and Mecca. After a period of time the persons called Hakem from Aleppo and Shams from Damascus came to Istanbul and each of them opened large coffeshops in Tahtakale district.
As well as it is an everyday beverage, Turkish coffee is also one of the most important parts of Turkish wedding customs. Before the marriage the family of the groom must visit the family of the bride to ask for a permission of marriage. During this meeting the bride prepares Turkish coffee for the guests. For the groom's coffee, the bride sometimes put salt instead of sugar to test his character. If the groom drinks coffee without any sign of displeasure, the bride thinks that the groom is good-tempered and patient.
The grounds left after drinking coffee can be used for fortune telling. The cup is turned over into the saucer to cool the coffee and later on according to the patterns inside the cup it is tried to say something about the future.
How to make Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is prepared in a narrow-topped boiling pot called "cezve" using "teaspoon" and "heating tools". The ingredients are very finely ground, cold water and sugar. It is served with special cups, some of which have handles.
Turkish coffee is not a kind of coffee. Its speciality is about its preparation. So there is no special type of bean. The beans are ground to powder which is finer than any other forms of preparation. The beans are ground by a burr mill. Coffee grounds are put in water which is not too hot for long enough to dissolve flavoursome compounds. In Turkey there are four degrees of sweetness used: sade (plain, no sugar), az sekerli (little sugar), orta (medium sugar), cok sekerli (a lot of sugar). The coffee and sugar are stirred until all coffee sink and the sugar is dissolved. Later on the spoon is removed and the pot is put on moderate heat. Just before it starts boiling, the pot is removed from the heat. Then the coffee is poured into the cups. A well-prepared Turkish coffee has a thick foam on the top.
Turkish coffee is served at hot temperature and with a glass of water to sweep away the taste of previously-eaten things for a better taste of the coffee.