Did you ever figure that the Turks are coffee people? The French—especially the ones in Paris—maybe! Americans? They sure do love their big coffee franchises! Canadians are also known for enjoying coffee at times, too! But the Turks? They don't exactly seem like the coffee-loving type, right? Well, you're wrong! Not only do the Turks enjoy coffee, but their own kind of coffee is actually more important than you probably realize. Like culturally and historically important! Just what about Turkish coffee makes it such a must-have in Turkish homes? Here's what you need to know about it!
It's Considered A National Drink
You'd think that coffee as a 'national drink' would be part of some country's pop culture, right? Perhaps, in most places, yes! But here in Turkey? Turkish coffee is truly a national drink! According to the country's social customs
, it's served after during, or after every meal. You can politely decline if you don't want any (though this can turn off some locals if you do), but best believe that most Turkish households will serve some no matter what! Furthermore, it's also custom for brides-to-be to serve Turkish coffee to her fiance's family to impress them into welcoming her in their family upon the marriage.
UNESCO Recognizes It As Culturally Important
If you think that the Turks' unique devotion to their own local coffee is just a whim on their part, you're sadly mistaken! No less than the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has recognized Turkish coffee and the traditions that surround it as culturally relevant and should be preserved. In fact, in 2013, it was included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List
. More than just recognizing it as an important part of Turkey's culture, they also note that the practice of preparing and serving Turkish coffee are symbols of the country's hospitality towards other nationalities.
Preparing and Serving Turkish Coffee Is A Ceremony
Part of what makes Turkish coffee so fascinating is how it's prepared. In fact, it is its own ceremony. Just like Japan's tea ceremony, preparing and serving Turkey is somewhat an occasion in itself, even during social gatherings. As already mentioned, UNESCO even recognized it as a symbol of national hospitality. It's also a custom for women to do it for their finances and their family in order to impress them prior to their marriage. It's even a custom in business
too. During business meetings, Turkish coffee is sometimes prepared and served as a sign of goodwill, especially when dealing with foreign businessmen/women.
You Use A Cezve to Cook It
Don't you just love it when something as seemingly mundane as making coffee makes use of interesting artifacts? Of course, as already explained, Turkish coffee is anything but common! And when it comes to preparing it, the Turks use a fascinating instrument in order to do it properly: a cezve
. Traditionally made out of copper, it's a small pot with a long handle where you mix all the ingredients. It's unlike in other countries where the coffee is made either in a pot or already in the cup/mug to be used. This part of the process helps make it and taste more authentic.
Sugar Is Added Before It's Prepared
Typically, when most people serve coffee, they include the sugar afterward. When the coffee has been poured from the pot to the cups or mugs, it's up to the drinker to add sugar if he/she wants to. But when preparing Turkish coffee, sugar is already added to the pot, or rather, the cezve. And those who will be poured some don't have a choice but get some regardless of their preferences. Though, if the Turkish coffee was prepared without any sugar in the cezve, you can still add some in your own cup if you want to.
Expect The Foam
Finally, don't be so worked up about the foam in your Turkish coffee. It's really part of the national drink. In the country's tradition, you won't see a cup of Turkish coffee without foam on top. It's simply unacceptable to their culture. But don't worry! The foam in question isn't a cream-like substance that you often see in famous coffee shop chains. Turkish coffee foams come from how the beverage was treated and prepared. It really will foam up as a sign that it's ready to be served. Whether it tastes dark or light, bitter or sweet, will depend on how it was prepared entirely.
Turkish coffee is Turkey's national drink. It's one of the most fascinating takes on the famous caffeinated beverage that you won't find anywhere else. And it's also an important part of Turkey's culture, one that makes it even more unique than it already is!
One of the best ways to relax in Turkey, no matter where you are in the country, is to enjoy some hot Turkish coffee in the comforts of your luxury home