Turkish Coffee is the name of a method for preparing and cooking coffee. This method has a distinct taste, smell, way of cooking and its own traditions.

Turkish Coffee is made of Arabica type coffee beans. These beans are ground to become very thin dust of coffee, which then is cooked in a pot with water and, optionally, also with sugar. Little coffee cups specially made for this type of coffee are used during serving. It is advised to wait for just a little after boiling to give grounds time to sink to the bottom of the cup.


In 1543, Özdemir Paşa (who was the Governor of Yemen) has brought some coffee beans to İstanbul. He has been drinking the coffee of these beans back in Yemen, but at that time nobody in İstanbul such a delicacy existed.

Turkish people have found a new way of cooking coffee. In 1554, new coffee shops have started opening in Tahtakale region of İstanbul; these shops have introduced the new taste to wide audiences. Soon, the Turkish Coffee has become an integral part of the social life; it has even started being widely consumed in the Ottoman Palace.

Coffee in Europe

The Turks began to export their favorite beverage around Europe. In 1669 the Turkish Ambassador introduced coffee to the Parisian court of Louis XIV. England wasn’t far behind, and the timing was good as the 17th-century craze for all things Turkish (such as Turkish baths and imported flowers) meant that coffee was eagerly received.

In 1683 theOttoman army surrounded Vienna, laying the grand city to siege.
However, help came in the form of a young Pole named Franz Kolschitzky. Kolschitzky had lived in Istanbul and was fluent in Turkish. Donning the uniform of the Turkish army, he slipped behind enemy lines and managed to gather enough strategic information to allow the Austrians to attack. The Turks fled, leaving everything behind, including 500 sacks of green coffee beans. No one knew what to do with them, except our hero Franz Kolschitzky, who went on to open the first Viennese coffee house, adding cream and honey to the beverage to cater to Viennese tastes. Today a Viennese coffee (coffee topped with cream) is an homage to the first coffees brewed in the Austrian capital. This thrilling tale of heroism and espionage deserves to be remembered.

As Part of Turkish Culture

Coffee means leisure and friendship for Turks. There are special sayings and words related only to Turkish Coffee.

The saying “A cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years” evokes the deep friendship created by drinking coffee together. If you’re invited to a Turk’s house but you only have some limited time to spend there, you can say “I could drink a cup of coffee of yours”.

Turkish Coffee with Turkish Delight Kus Lokumu. Traditional beverage

Turkish Coffee also has an important part in the pre-wedding ceremony. When the groom candidate and his family visit the bride candidate and her family to get the bride’s family’s hand in marriage, she brings a cup of coffee that has a very bad taste – usually with added salt. If the groom candidate can drink that cup of coffee, it would mean that he could eat anything she cooks.

Protected Under UNESCO

Deemed so important in 2013 that UNESCO inscribed Turkish coffee culture and tradition into the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity


  • The soft, velvet-like foam of the coffee enables the taste to stay within the mouth for a longer time than other types of coffee.
  • The foam also keeps the coffee warm because it can stay on top of the coffee without changing its shape for some time.
  • It is the only kind of coffee used for fortunetelling.
  • The coffee is actually within the cup but it doesn’t need filtering because the grounds sink to the bottom by itself; there’s no other coffee which is served like that.





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