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Saturday, November 24, 2018


Coffetopia on Arpacilar Street, a bright new location near Istanbul's Eminiou tram stop.  Photo by Gurme.
Editor’s note: This new Pillar to Post series offers a general definition of a coffee drink from its country of origin and perhaps a local coffee house.  This month, we’re in Istanbul where they serve Turk Kahvesi or Turkish coffee, which is a brewed coffee drink served unfiltered in small cups.

According to a popular Turkish proverb, a coffee worthy of drinking should be as black as hell; as strong as death and as sweet as love.

Served from a long-handled copper pot called cezve, the Turks savor this thick brew mostly after meals.
U.S. Ex-Pat Louis Herman, who now lives and blogs in Istanbul, points out, “While not actually growing any coffee beans, Turkey has made a name for itself on the world beverage arena with its dark and strong unfiltered coffee. Having originated in Ethiopia, it is believed the aromatic beans found their way to the Ottomans via spice route trading where they were quickly adopted as a feature of the privileged. In modern times, Turkish coffee is most often produced using South American beans, roasted in Turkey, and ground fresh upon demand. If at a cafe or restaurant, and you order a Turkish coffee, you may request it  either plain (sade) medium sugar (orta şekerli) or very sweet (çok şekerli).”

Thanks, Louis.  He recommends quite a few coffee houses in the Sirkeci and Eminiou neighborhoods, near the famous Spice (Grand) Bazaar where you can buy or be served Turk Kahvesi.

One of his picks is Coffetopia on Arpacilar Street, a bright new location near the Eminiou tram stop.


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