Category Culture and Food

Türk kahvesi- Preparation and serving

Learn How To Make Turkish Coffee with Step-by-Step Photos


Turkish coffee is a style of coffee prepared using very finely ground coffee beans without filtering. It is prepared in a special pot with long handles called cezve and it is usually made out of copper or brass. To make a perfect turkish coffee, you need to folow certain steps:

  1. Measure the amount of cold water you will need.
  2. Place your pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high (just until the water heats up).
  3. Add about 1-2 heaping tea spoons (or 1 tablespoon) of coffee per demitasse cup (3 oz). Do not stir it yet. Just let the coffee “float” on the surface because if you stir it now you might cause it to clump up.
  4. Add sugar to taste. Do not stir it yet, Let the water warm up little bit as above.
  5. When the coffee starts to sink into the water and the water is warm enough to dissolve your sugar, stir it several times and then turn down the heat to low. You should stir it several times, up until your brew starts to foam (you can also vigorously move your spoon side to side to encourage to start the foaming).
  6. When you see the bubble “ring” forming on the surface, turn down the heat a little bit more or move your pot away from the heat source. Pay attention to the bubbles that are forming at this stage. Bubbles should be very small in size.
  7. From this point on watch your brew carefully. Do not let the temperature get hot enough to start boiling. The key idea here is to let the coffee build a thick froth and that occurs approximately around 158 F or 70 C (i.e., much cooler than the boiling point of water which is 212 F or 100 C at standard pressure. If your brew comes to a boil, you will not have any foam because it will simply evaporate!).
  8. Keep it at the “foaming” stage as long as you can without letting it come to a boil. You might even gently stir your brew a little bit at this stage. The more froth, the better it will taste. Also your coffee must be fresh or it will not foam as well. If your brew gets too hot and begins to “rise”, then move it away from the heat or just turn it down. Repeat this process until your foam has “raised” and “cooled” at the most couple of times. Then pour in to your cups (quickly at first to get out the foam, then slowly) while making sure that each cup has equal amount of foam! If you are serving several cups then you might be better off spooning the foam into each cup.


How to Make Turkish Coffee (With Tips) - Give Recipe | Recipe | Turkish  coffee, Coffee, Turkish coffee cups

Turkish coffee is always served in demitasse cups and if it’s prepared properly, it should have foam on top. It’s often served with a glass of water as a palate cleanser and with famous turkish sweet turkish delight or lokum.

According to the superstition, people used to serve their guests  lokum with Turkish coffee as a way of asking for their satisfaction. If the guest eats the lokum after drinking the coffee, it meant that he was pleased with the way he was hosted. And if he doesn’t it meant that the host is not satisfied with the way he hosted. 

Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee, but additional sugar is optional.

Fortune telling

Coffee Cup Reading with Angelic Guidance | Etsy | Coffee cup reading,  Turkish coffee cups, Turkish coffee reading

Tasseography (or tasseomancy) is the academic term for Turkish coffee fortune telling. It is a very comon practice in Turkey, Balkan countries and Arabic countries. The fortune telling can by done by a professional or just for fun within family and friends. For fortune telling you need to folow certain instructions and rules:

Firstly, the coffee should be drunk only from one side of the cup. When the coffee is finished, the saucer is placed on top of the cup, and a wish is made. With the saucer still covering the top, the cup is held at chest level and turned counter-clockwise a few times. Following this, the cup is turned upside down onto the saucer, and left to cool. Sometimes a coin may be placed on top to make the cup cool faster and to dispel bad omens that could be read from it. When the coffee cup is cool enough, someone other that the person who drunk the coffee opens the cup, and starts interpreting the shapes for divination.

Coffee cup reading is a widespread and popular fortune telling method, which speaks of both the past and the future. For divination purposes, the coffee cup is considered in two horizontal halves. The shapes in the lower half talk of the past, whereas shapes in the top half talk of the future. The shapes that feature on the right side are usually interpreted positively, while shapes on the left are interpreted as signs of bad events, enemies, illnesses, troubles, and the like. According to another belief, the coffee cup can tell the past but it can only foretell forty days into the future.

Türk kahvesi-History of Turkish Coffee

History of Turkish Coffee | Turkish Coffee Gear

History of Turkish Coffee

The Turkish coffee was discovered in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia in the early 14th century.  The researches about the Turkish coffee shows that the Turkish coffee has spread from southern Ethiopia to the whole world with its unique smell and taste.

There two version of story about origin of coffee in Turkey.

First one is sayinng that in 1554 two Syrian men named Hakam from Aleppo & Shams from Damascus moved to Istanbul bringing coffee beans to Turkey. They opened separate coffee shops in the commercial district of Tahtekale following the idea of Yemen’s shops.

File:Amedeo Preziosi - Istanbul cafe.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Istanbul coffee house

Second version is saying that: Özdemir Pasha, who served as governor in Yemen in 1517, tasted this coffee and brought it to Istanbul and he made sure to bring it to the attention of the Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.

The Sultan’s staff decided to try a new method for preparing the drink. They used mortars to finely ground the coffee and then brewed it using a special pot called an Ibrik. It was immediately a big hit in the palace and actually became an integral part of Turkish history and culture. The mansions of the elite were the first to get to try this great new beverage. Later it was consumed by the masses and eventually the whole Ottoman Empire.

It was soon being prepared by coffee professionals known as “Kahveci Usta”. They were employed by many palaces as well as by high ranking officials and wealthy citizens. Perhaps a prelude to modern day baristas. Many of these professionals also went on to open their own coffee houses serving Turkish coffee and other fine beverages. 

Turkish coffee history - Turkish coffee shop
Kahveci Usta

The people adopted coffee as part of their custom, and it became a ritual, playing a significant role during marriage ceremonies. For this reason, women underwent thorough training to learn how to make a perfect brew.

What’s interesting is that this practice still holds today. When a prospective groom’s family visits the bride’s home to propose, the bride-to-be serves them Turkish coffee.

The bride-to-be sometimes uses salt, instead of sugar, when serving the groom’s coffee, in a bid to gauge his character. If the groom portrays no signs of irritation or displeasure, then the bride-to-be assumes her husband-to-be is a patient and good-tempered man.

Shutting down the coffee houses

In 1656 the Ottoman Grand Vizier Koprulu issued laws to shut down the coffee houses. This act came as a shock to the people of Turkey who frequented them. Punishment for breaking the law was extreme and ranged from beating to drowning. It was believed that they served as meeting places for discussing politics and even ways to take down the Sultan. Those in power viewed the coffee houses as a threat and tried to preemptively snuff out the flames of rebellion. 

Turkish Coffee History during Ottoman Empire Era | Coffee history, Ottoman  empire, History

Spreading the coffee culture to Europe

In 1600 many Turkish merchants started selling coffee beans abroad. First they travel to Venice which was the major trading port of Europe. Later they introduce coffee to England and slowly to the other European countries. Coffee history indicates that the name “Turkish coffee” (“Türk kahvesi”) comes from the nationality of the coffee traders.

A History of Coffee: The Old World Obsession

Today the experts of the Turkish coffee history believe that the name derives mostly from its preparing method.

In 1657 Sultan Mehmet IV visited France. Among other presents, he gave to King Louis XIV coffee beans. This gesture was the initial introduction of the French society to Turkish style coffee.

En Uzun Süre Tahtta Kalan 7 Osmanlı Padişahı | Ponipo
Sultan Mehmet IV

Turkish coffee history mentions this event as the first step to expand coffee to the rich European countries. 

In 1683 during the battle of Austria the Turkish troops left some bags of coffee beans behind.The Austrians discovered the new beverage. They developed it to a new blend. This event is evidence of how important coffee was to even soldiers at war.

By 1850 coffee became as one of the most valuable commodities.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Enjoy Traditional Turkish Coffee Recipe At Home! Easy Step by Step Guide

Turkish coffee’s special preparation, brewing techniques, and rich communal culture made it worthy of being inscribed in 2013 into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The tradition itself has also been recognized as a symbol of hospitality and friendship, with locals meeting at coffeehouses to converse over coffee, or coffee being offered to visitors as a welcoming gesture. The beverage’s importance in social occasions was also an important factor in its inscription, with coffee being served during holidays and engagement ceremonies.


Traditional Turkish Tea, Stock Photo | Crushpixel

Tea is a big part of Turkish culture, while walking on the streets of cities, you can find a lot of people drinking black tea in a small tulip shaped cups while sitting next to passage.You can also see people caring the tea on the plader on the streets. Turkish tea brings people together, its a reason for socialising and relaxing and turkish people know how to enjoy life.Beside cultural and social reasons, turkish black tea is also beneficial for health and digestion of all the heavy meaty food that is being consumed.

Althought Turkey is best know for its coffe, the tea is the most consumed beverage.

“Çaysız söhbet, aysız gök yüzü gibidir”
(Conversations without tea are like a night sky without the moon)

-Folk saying from Sivas, Turkey


Most of the tea produced in Turkey is Rize tea, a terroir from Rize Province on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. This tea is usually processed as black tea, though it is known for its rich red color.

Young Woman Enjoying Tea Plantation In Cayeli Rize Black Sea Region In  Turkey Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock
Rize Province

In 2004 Turkey produced 205,500 tonnes of tea (6.4% of the world’s total tea production), which made it one of the largest tea markets in the world, with 120,000 tons being consumed in Turkey, and the rest being exported. Furthermore, in 2004, Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world, at 2.5 kg per person—followed by the United Kingdom.

Types of tea

Types of Black Tea - Flavor of Tea
Black tea

Turkish teas are divided into 3 main strength classes: strong dark teas known as koyu; medium deep brownish red teas called tavşan kanı, which means rabbit’s blood; and weak light teas called açık

Beside using normal tea leaves and filter tea, its very common to use powder tea made mostly from apple, pomegranate, cherry, rose or karadut.

Uzun Süre Dayanır, Şifası da Boldur: Karadut Şurubu Nasıl Yapılır? - | Gıda, Yemek, Yemek tarifleri
Karadut tea


Turkish tea is typically prepared using two stacked kettles called “çaydanlık” specially designed for tea preparation. Water is brought to a boil in the larger lower kettle and then some of the water is used to fill the smaller kettle on top and steep (infuse) several spoons of loose tea leaves, producing a very strong tea. When served, the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual basis, giving each consumer the choice between strong (Turkish: koyu, literally “dark”; or tavşan kanı, literally “rabbit’s blood”) and weak (Turkish: açık, literally “light”). Tea is drunk from small glasses to enjoy it hot in addition to showing its colour, with cubes of beet sugar. It is almost never taken with milk.

Turkish Tea Culture : Facts, History & Social Etiquette

History of Turkish Tea

Surprisingly, compared to tea’s thousands years of history, Turkish tea is relatively young. Some sources mention that Turks traded and consumed tea as soon as 400 B.C., but certain is that tea only became common in Turkey from the 1900s onwards.

The very first attempt to grow tea on Turkish soil took place in Bursa between 1888 and 1892. It wasn’t a success since this part of the country is ecologically inadequate for growing tea. In 1924, the parliament passed a law about cultivating tea in the east of the Black Sea region. In the late 30s, 70 tons of black tea seeds were imported from Georgia in order to start nurseries in the region. In 1940, an additional law that supported the farmers and protected their rights boosted the cultivation of tea in the region. Today, 767 million m² of land is used to grow tea, and it is the second most consumed Turkish drink, after water.

Serving the Tea

Turks use special curved, see-through tea glasses in a tulip shape and a small plate underneath for making it easier to carry and serve. Since the steeped tea is on the top pot you should be careful with the amount you pour onto the glass. Often the tea is served with a little dessert, famous turkish delight.

All About Turkish Tea: Types, How to Drink It and Health Benefits

Half of a glass is very strong (koyu or demli), a quarter of a glass is considered normal, and less is light (açık). Then you of course add water to fill rest of the glass. Not all the way up though! You should leave 1 cm of space at the top to help the drinker to get a sip without spilling or burning his or her fingers. Moreover, traditional Turkish tea glasses have no handle like a regular Western cup, so you need to hold the glass from the top using your thumb and index finger.

Why Tulip shape?

The tulip motif goes way back. While many of us might associate tulips with the Netherlands, they apparently first grew along the 40° latitude corridor, making them native to northern China and southern Europe—and of course Turkey.

Free Photo | Glass of tea with turkish delight on canvas

In the 1500s, during Sultan Suleiman I’s reign over the Ottoman Empire, tulips were cultivated especially for the sultan.

When Ahmed III ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1703 to 1730, the tulip:

reigned supreme as a symbol of wealth and prestige and the period later became known as ‘Age of the Tulips.’ (Tesselaar Bulbs)

With their endowed status, tulips were tightly regulated. Exile threatened those who bought or sold this flower outside the capital.

The bloom was also celebrated with spectacular tulip festivals,

held at night during a full moon. Hundreds of exquisite vases were filled with the most breath-taking Tulips, crystal lanterns were used to cast an enchanting light over the gardens whilst aviaries were filled with canaries and nightingales that sang for the guests. Romantically, all guests were required to wear colours which harmonised with the flowers! (Tesselaar Bulbs)

So important is the tulip to Turkish culture that they became entwined “within the arts and folklore. You can find references to the tulip all over Turkey, in embroidery, clothing, carpets, tiles and of course the glasses that are made to contain çay [tea]. Four hundred million tulip tea glasses are sold in Turkey every year”

Five Interesting Things to Know about Turkish Tea

Another reason for using tulip shaped cups are that they are more economical, smaller and cheaper to produce.


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