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Turkish Coffe

Many friends living all over the world asking me "Turkish Coffe". Yes indeed they all are right to ask. It is impossible to describe gustatory sense. But if you have chance to find ask for brand "Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi".

Prepration is easy indeed. Now an electronic device came out which is not bad, truly. But to prepare as best you should have Turkish Coffe Pot which Copper made is satisfactory.
Place your pot of water on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high (just until the water heats up).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. Add sugar to taste. Do not stir it yet, Let the water warm up little bit as above. 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 it your brew starts to foam (you can also vigorously move your spoon side to side to encourage to start the foaming).  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. From this point on watch your coffee carefully.  Do not let the temperature get hot enough to start boiling. (NEVER LET IT BOIL - many instructions on how to make Turkish coffee use the term "boiling" but this is totally inaccurate) 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!). 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.  You are almost done.  Repeat this process until your foam has "raised" and "cooled" at the most couple of times (NOT 3-4 times like some instructions. Even once is enough).  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.


Until the latter part of the 19th century, coffee beans were sold raw. They were roasted at home and then ground using hand-operated coffee mills. All this changed when Mehmet Efendi inherited his father Hasan Efendi's spice and green coffee bean shop.

Mehmet Efendi was born in 1857 in the Fatih region of Istanbul. Following his education at the Süleymaniye Medresesi (the school attached to the Süleymaniye Mosque complex), Mehmet Efendi began to work in his father's shop on Tahmis Sokak. Mehmet Efendi took over the family business in 1871 and began roasting raw coffee beans, grinding them in mortars and selling roasted and ready-ground Turkish Coffee to his customers. Soon, Tahmis Sokak was filled with the rich aroma of freshly roasted coffee. Thanks to Mehmet Efendi, coffee lovers were able to enjoy the convenience of buying ready roasted and ground coffee, and he soon became known as "Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi", or Mehmet Efendi, vendor of roasted and ground coffee.

After Mehmet Efendi's death in 1931, the family business passed to his three sons: Hasan Selahattin Bey, Hulusi Bey and Ahmet Rıza Bey.

The family formally took "Kurukahveci" as their last name in 1934. After Mehmet Efendi passed away, his eldest son Hasan Selahattin (1897-1944) recognized the importance of the international market and resolved to become active abroad. Thus, Turkish Coffee began to be promoted abroad as well as in the domestic market.

In line with the technological developments of the time, Hulusi Bey (1904-1934) introduced mass production and commissioned Zühtü Başar – one of the leading architects of the period – to design an Art Deco headquarters for the company on the site of the original family shop on Tahmis Sokak. This striking structure remains the company's headquarters to this day. In addition, the company began to package its roasted-ground coffee in parchment paper and to distribute these packages to groceries and corner stores all over the city via automobile. Thus, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi was responsible for another groundbreaking innovation in Turkey. The company also opened a branch on the famous thoroughfare of Istiklal Caddesi.

After the untimely death of Hulusi Bey, the company passed into the hands of Mehmet Efendi's youngest son, Ahmet Rıza Kurukahveci. Educated abroad, Ahmet Bey was in touch with global trends and developments, which inspired him to take steps to modernise the firm and, crucially, to invest in advertising. In 1933, he commissioned İhap Hulusi Bey, one of the leading graphic designers of the period, to design a logo for the company. This logo remains in use today. The company was also promoted through posters and calendars – revolutionary advertising media for the period. Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi began to distribute coffee within the domestic market via the firm's own fleet of automobiles. Another branch was opened on Sahne Sokak, in the neighbourhood of Galatasaray.

Today Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi is run by Mehmet Efendi's grandchildren who took over the company after the death of Ahmet Rıza Kurukahveci. After nearly a century, Mehmet Efendi's mortars were replaced by the latest coffee machinery. What began as a small family business on Tahmis Street in 1871 has now grown into a global brand.


Istanbul was introduced to coffee in 16. century during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent by Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen, who had grown to love the drink while stationed in that country.

Coffee soon became a vital part of palace cuisine and was very popular in court. The position of Chief Coffee Maker (kahvecibaşı) was added to the roster of court functionaries. The Chief Coffee Maker's duty was to brew the Sultan's or his patron's coffee, and was chosen for his loyalty and ability to keep secrets. The annals of Ottoman History record a number of Chief Coffee Makers who rose through the ranks to become Grand Viziers to the Sultan.

Coffee soon spread from the palace to grand mansions, and from grand mansions to the homes of the public. The people of Istanbul quickly became enamoured with the beverage. Green coffee beans were purchased and then roasted at home on pans. The beans were then ground in mortars and brewed in coffeepots known as "cezve".

Coffee's renown soon spread beyond the palace, grand mansions and homes.

Istanbul's first coffeehouses opened in the district of Taht-ul-kale in 1554. "Taht-ul-kale" means "inside the castle", and is known today as Tahtakale. Many coffee vendors set up shop on Tahtakale's Tahmis Sokak, which means "Roasted and Ground Coffee Street". Coffee and coffeehouse culture spread rapidly and soon became an integral part of Istanbul social culture. Initially frequented by the city's literati, coffeehouses soon became popular with the general public as well. Soon, there were 55 coffeehouses in Istanbul, most of which overlooked stunning views of the city. People came here throughout the day to read books, play chess and backgammon and discuss poetry and literature. Performances of traditional Turkish theatrical arts such as Shadow Puppetry (Karagöz) and Classical Turkish Drama (ortaoyunu) were first held at these coffeehouses.

Istanbul's passion for coffee has remained unchanged over the centuries. At the end of the 18th century, the Italian writer Edmondo de Amicis wrote: "There are coffeehouses at the summits of the Galata and Beyazıt Towers, there are coffee vendors on the ferries, in the cemeteries, in government offices and Turkish baths – even in the markets. No matter where you are in Istanbul, all you have to do is yell 'Coffee Maker' with nary a glance in any direction, and within three minutes you will be clutching a steaming cup of coffee."

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