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Contents / Turkish coffee

Indispensable accompaniment to good conversation, companion on sleepless nights... How do you take it, plain or with sugar?

Coffee came to Istanbul in the mid-16th century during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The coffee that governor of Ethiopia Özdemir Pasha brought home with him began to be drunk initially in the palaces and stately mansions. It soon became a habit as people developed a taste for 'drinking fresh coffee from a fresh, young hand'. In a feast for the eyes, three coffee 'angels' no more than sixteen years of age served guests tiny sips of the bitter brew. The coffee sets used for these ceremonies dazzled the eye as well. Art, elegance, wealth, youth and beauty combined to turn the drinking of coffee into a feast. In time the tradition of drinking coffee spread to the population as a whole, reaching as far as the villages and the nomads' tents. Among the common folk as well, coffee was served by young girls.

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