Now that the days are getting shorter, I enjoy a cosy day inside wrapped up in a warm blanket, a book in my hands, and a hot drink right next to me. As much as I love a cup of tea, I enjoy freshly brewed coffee just as much. But did you know that a few centuries ago, I could have gotten arrested for drinking coffee?
When coffee first arrived in Turkey in the 17th century, it was considered a drug. Coffee consumption was strictly prohibited. Despite efforts to restrict access to coffee, the first coffee bars emerged hidden in the back of local barbershops. Coffee quickly became very popular and soon spread all across Europe. It is now one of the most popular drinks in the world.
Today, coffee in Turkey is a symbol of friendship. It is best enjoyed slowly and in good company. Whenever I make myself a cup of Turkish coffee, it brings me back to the time I visited Istanbul. After a long stroll around the city, sitting down with my friends in a tiny café hidden away from the bustling city was a highlight of my day. Who can resist the rich smell of coffee freshly brewed in the traditional copper pot “cezve”?
Turkish coffee is made with powder-like ground coffee and not filtered. This means, usually there will be grounds left in the cup after you finished your coffee. The grounds can be used to tell fortune: the cup is turned over so that the grounds fall onto a saucer and a skilled coffee-reader can then interpret the patterns and shapes created by the coffee powder.