Coffee Among Turks

The origin of coffee is the continent of Africa and it is interesting that the first coffee addicts are goats.

The monks living in the monasteries of South Abyssinia noticed that the goats became livelier when they ate the seeds of a certain plant. The monks themselves began to boil and drink this plant.

These seeds, which take their name from Kaffa, the place where they were found, and later called coffee, passed to Yemen and to Mecca from South Abyssinia at the end of the Middle Ages. The Muslims who came there as pilgrims took coffee back to their own countries.

The Turks were introduced to coffee after Sultan Selim I conquered Egypt. The spread of coffee drinking and the opening of coffee houses everywhere occured during the period of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The first coffee house was opened in Tahtakale (1553 1554) by Halepli Hakem and Şamlı Şems. While drinking coffee in these coffee houses, seated on divans, kneeling or sitting cross-legged, people would listen to the tales of public storytellers.

Coffee was made with great care and offered to guests, not only in coffee houses, but also at meetings in ancient Turkish residences and houses of İstanbul and Anatolia.

Coffee has a distinct form and special vessels are used in its preparation. Raw coffee beans are first roasted in coffee pans, and then put into wooden coolers. The cooled coffee is then ground with coffee grinders and stored in coffee boxes.

For the preparation of coffee, coffee jugs or pots are used. In some regions, coffee is made on braziers with jug sets called “coffee style”. When the coffee is ready, the fluid is poured into coffee cups and served.

The coffee cups are made of porcelain. They do not have a handle, instead they are put in cup holders made of materials such as silver or gold. The cup holder is used as the handle.We Turks, who are famous for our hospitality, have used coffee as the subject of our proverbs, and folk songs.