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Old 29-01-2006, 07:00 PM posted to alt.culture.turkish,soc.culture.turkish,,,
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x0x Turkish coffee

By Bahar Kalkan

Indispensable accompaniment to good conversation, companion on
nights... How do you take it, plain or with sugar?

Coffee came to Istanbul in the mid-16th century during the reign of
Suleiman the Magnificent. The coffee that governor of Ethiopia Ozdemir
Pasha brought home with him began to be drunk initially in the palaces
stately mansions. It soon became a habit as people developed a taste
'drinking fresh coffee from a fresh, young hand'. In a feast for the
three coffee 'angels' no more than sixteen years of age served guests
sips of the bitter brew. The coffee sets used for these ceremonies
the eye as well. Art, elegance, wealth, youth and beauty combined to
the drinking of coffee into a feast. In time the tradition of drinking
coffee spread to the population as a whole, reaching as far as the
villages and the nomads' tents. Among the common folk as well, coffee
served by young girls.


Serving coffee to guests became an honored tradition with time.
such as asking for a girl's hand in marriage, engagements, weddings,
birthdays and religious feasts always included an hour of coffee
And the words "Come by for a cup of coffee" were an invitation for a

Such visits often took the form of 'morning coffee' gatherings among
women. Finishing up their early morning household chores, girls and
young and old would be ready for coffee by ten o'clock. For neighbors,
relatives, friends and acquaintances could show up unannounced any time
between 10 and 12 when there was a standing invitation to every home.


The latest gossip and incidents both happy and sad were related at this
coffee klatch, and sometimes plans were laid for the future, while the
hostess and her daughters and daughters-in-law and female servants, if
had any, served coffee in extremely elegant cups.

After the coffee was sipped from these cups, each of which was encased
a delicate jewel-like holder, the cup would be shaken three times and
turned upside down on its saucer for the fortune-telling ritual.

Tapping the bottom of the cup three times with her index finger, its
would silently make a wish. In every gathering there was always one
with a philosophy of life who could tell fortunes. Upon request, she
pick up the now cold cup and tell its owner's fortune, expressing
thoughts, advice and guidelines as she saw fit. What all did not
in these fortunes! News from the mouth of a bird, long journeys, evil


A plethora of artistic items were invented and used everywhere, from
imperial palace or pavilion right down to the peasant dwelling or
tent, for serving coffee, which took on a special significance in
life. The quality of these items varied depending on the wealth of the
family, but every house had a special place where the coffee set was
It was also customary to give coffee cups with Let us take a closer
now at these items. Spread on a coffee roasting tray made of metal and
placed over a fire, raw coffee beans were roasted by constant stirring
with a long coffee spoon. The hot roasted beans were then emptied into
wooden container for cooling.

When cool, the coffee was poured into a mortar, again of wood, and
to a fine powder. Some coffee aficionados would drink only coffee
by hand like this in a wooden mortar, but coffee could also be ground
hand-held mills made of copper or bronze. The ground coffee was
in canisters made of wood, metal or ceramic and cooked without sugar in
large copper jug.

Long-handled copper or bronze coffee pots, known as 'cezve' in Turkish,
came in various sizes such as one-cup, two-cup or five-cup.

Since the coffee was prepared either without sugar, or with little,
medium, or lots of sugar depending on preference, pots of various sizes
would be lined up on the coffee brazier. The stately mansions and
Bosphorus villas had special niches for coffee hearths where the coffee
was cooked and the coffee sets stored. The unsweetened coffee made here
was poured into a coffee set made of silver, tombac, bronze or copper.
china coffee cups with delicate holders of silver or tombac were
on a tray for the service. The roundness of the tray and of the
cover held during the coffee ceremony symbolized the sun. In other
serving coffee was a ceremony which required a number of different
examples of most of which are found in museums or private collections
today. Research into the culture of coffee turns up a number of names,
forms, decorations, designs and shapes harking back to the ancient
civilizations of Anatolia and exhibited in these coffee utensils. The
Turkish coffee tradition, which is reminiscent of the ancient custom of
serving fruit sherbets whose roots go far back in time, therefore
represents a cultural synthesis. Coffee serving ceremonies also remind
of the Japanese tea ceremony. The roots of traditions that develop as
of life can run very deep indeed.


In Anatolia, families, relatives and friends-men and women alike-would
gather after dinner in one house, every family bringing its own 'coffee
basket'. A circle was formed around the hearth or 'tandir', the baskets
were opened and the coffee pots set on the hearth in the middle, and
conversation continued apace as the coffee was cooked and drunk. Such
'tandir coffee' gatherings still continue today.

Frequented exclusively by men, the old coffeehouses with their interior
and exterior decor, coffee making utensils and custom of drinking
were virtual centers of education and communication in many respects.
These uniquely beautiful old coffeehouses live on today in miniatures
engravings and in paintings by European artists. Clearly we will never
give up coffee, our companion on sleepless nights and accompaniment to
friendly conversation, which is also responsible for the addition of
term 'kahvalti' ('under the coffee', in other words, breakfast) to the
Turkish language.


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Old 29-01-2006, 09:11 PM posted to
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Default x0x Turkish coffee

On 29 Jan 2006 11:00:46 -0800, T.R.H. wrote:

Indispensable accompaniment to good conversation, companion on
sleepless nights... How do you take it, plain or with sugar?

Drink too much and it's the very reason you have a sleepless night.

Practice safe eating. Always use condiments.
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Old 30-01-2006, 08:50 AM posted to alt.culture.turkish,soc.culture.turkish,,,
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Default x0x Turkish coffee

"T.R.H." schreef in bericht
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x0x Turkish coffee

By Bahar Kalkan

Indispensable accompaniment to good conversation, companion on
nights... How do you take it, plain or with sugar?

Thanks for an informative article.

Today Turkish style coffee is still very popular in Turkish cafe's.
Unofficial selling percentage: about 70% Turkish, 30 percent divided amongst
espresso, latte and the like.

To grind beans into Turkish powder a dedicated grinder is needed, even the
large German made models cannot grind fine enough.
A popular model: 2 kWatt motor, 125 mm burs.
Also seen, stone grinders!


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