When Organo Gold decided to open its business in Turkey, we knew exactly where we were landing: A solid ground of glorious and ancient past, infused with a rich coffee history.
The bold aroma, unique taste, and the spectacular preparation of the typical Turkish coffee (kahve) recall an unchanged tradition that spans centuries and continents.
The origin of the word kahve (coffee in Turkish) is uncertain, yet fascinating.
The etymology may come from the Arabic “qahwah” or qah’wa al-bon, meaning “wine of the bean”. It is said that the first exchanges of coffee drinks in the Arabic world happened between the Shadhiliyya and other religious Sufi orders.
The dervishes figured the powerful effects of coffee such as wakefulness and strength would help them find mystic concentration and allow them to become closer to God. Soon, they started spreading this powerful beverage among their fellowship and students.
An unknown Shadhiliyya shaikh (noble), travelling around the Southern Arabic countries, was also introduced to this particular beverage in the 13th Century. He recognized that the coffee cultivation in this strategic location was hiding a treasure for its beans exportation and the potential economic business behind it.
During the 13th-16th century when the Ottoman Empire was at its peak, many coffeehouses opened in Constantinople spreading the habit of gathering friends and business partners to attend its preparation.
In this period coffee making was invested in a religious aura (that’s why “qahwah” is also translated as “wine of Islam” by Europeans) and became even more valuable as it started to become a part of traditional wedding ceremonies. During this period, coffeehouses were the beating heart of the city for all ranks of the populations.
You can now choose to have your coffee with no sugar (sade), half-spoon of sugar (az şekerli), semi-sweet (orta şekerli) or sweet (şekerli) and always served with a cold glass of water. Whichever way you would like your coffee to be served, keep in mind that the Turkish way of drinking it is slow – also because you could easily burn your tongue at the first sip – enjoying the pleasuring indulgence of its thick dark-brown body and intense aroma combined with a good conversation with your peers.
Last but not least: don’t drink it all! At the bottom of the special coffee cup (fincan) the grinds left over can be used for reading your fortune! You’d never know that a cup of coffee could change your life and what your future can look like!