Drinking Coffee Like a Turk

In 2008, We had a trip to Mostar from Sarajevo, Bosnia. We were so rush to come back for attending a public meeting in Liberation Square. The meeting was commemoration of Islamization in Bosnia in Ottoman period. For a conservative Turkish guy such as me, this meeting was not a social affiliate, but a duty my ancestors load on my shoulders. I could not take photos of this event unfortunately, my camera went out of battery due to have a sunny journey to south Bosnia. Anyway, It was quiet difficult drive, and the first thing I needed when I stepped on the soil of Sarajevo, was coffee..
When I arrived the square, I saw a giant džezva (in Turkish: Cezve, in English: Coffee Pot) in th middle of the crowd, and I suddeenly slanted my pathway through this coffee pool 🙂 There was sink at the bottom of the džezva. Revolving the tap, you got a well cooked Bosnian Coffee, despite being cold. Anyhow coffee taste was not considerable , a cup of coffee was newly found treasure for me at that moment..

Because the coffee was cold a bit, I drank a cup of coffee by a single shot. However, my mind was asking for a second cup 🙂 I sloshed second cup down by single shot again.. There were several Bosnians around me, and one of them asked me that question:

– How you drink coffee! Are you Turk?
– Yes, I am, indeed. How do you recognize?
– Only a Turk drinks coffee like a man!

Drinking coffee like a Turk.. My way to drink coffee revealed my identity.. Drinking coffe like a Turk, at the same time, like a man.. I learned that it is an idiom they use for those who are addicted to coffee.. Meanwhile, it is a proudful compliment for me.. For a Turk, it is not surprising to hear words like that in the Balkans. Even in Serbia, I heard about the fame of Turkish coffee in a highway coffeehouse. I asked how differs other coffees from Turkish coffee, the waitress said that Turkish coffee is only served when a bride nominee girl is first introduced to her future parents-in-law. Coffee is served by bride, of course 🙂

The question to be asked: While the fame of Turks about coffee, what is the current de facto in Turkish societies? Coffeehouses turned into time-wasting places, coffee left his throne to black tea (How miserable kingdom 😦 ) There is no coffee expert-like old wise men who are seeking for the best delight of coffee..

Once upon a time in Yemen, a villager shepherd found that sheeps become more cheerful after eating the seeds of a plant. He applied a procedure to got the finial form of recent coffee.. and so on.. In Turkish tradition, the master of turkish coffee makers is Imam Shazilee (Şeyh’ul-Ekber el-İmâm eş-Şâzilî). Chamber of coffee market is belong to this tarîkât (sufist sect). Having strong faithful compound between their jobs and society, they were always in full respect to the best coffee service to market. That is why for centuries the best coffee could be drank only inside Ottoman borders. Ottoman army brought coffee together military camp while the first siege of Vienna. While they were retreating, they left coffee beans for lighten the carries to Istanbul. A Vienese merchant who had been in Istanbul before the siege, knew about coffee and  gathered all the coffee bags Ottoman soldiers left. He established a coffee house, and it was the first one in Europe.. While carrying a coffee culture from Yemen to Europe then allover the World, we left this delight! Nowadays, coffee revival in Turkey enlightens my sight much more 🙂

Last words, I will be away for a while. You may e-mail me if you like to write posts in the blog 😉 It is so easy to use wordpress interface.. Be an author here.. Share.. See you soon, God willing..

I want to end this post up with a poetic Turkish proverb about the importance of coffee in Turkish society:

The heart seeks for niether a coffee nor a coffeehouse
Pulses in the pursue of agape, let coffee be the cause*

*I tried to translate from original proverb: Gönül ne kahve ister, ne kahvehâne; Gönül muhabbet ister, kahve bahâne..

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