A cup of Turkish coffee is endowed with a variety of important connotations for Turks: friendship, affection and sharing. This is best illustrated in the old saying: "A single cup of coffee can create a friendship that lasts for 40 years". Turkish coffee is such an intrinsic part of Turkish culture that it has given its name to the word for breakfast, "kahvaltı", which translates as "before coffee", and is derived from the words "kahve" (coffee) and "altı" (before).
Serving a cup of Turkish Coffee is also a way of sealing a friendship. The preparation and care taken by a host in serving Turkish Coffee to his guests is an important aspect of hospitality. In Turkey, it is traditional for a prospective bride to serve coffee to her suitor and his family when they come to ask for her hand in marriage. Accepting a cup of coffee is a source of pride to the person who offers it. This is illustrated in the Turkish expressions "his coffee can be drunk" and "I would drink a cup of your coffee".
Ever since the first coffeehouse opened in Istanbul in 1554, coffee has had a tremendous impact on art and culture. Countless artists, students and teachers have come together in coffeehouses to read books, perform plays and hold lively discussions.
The first coffee was made in the Arabian Peninsula by boiling coffee cherries. The new method invented by the Turks revealed coffee's true flavour and peerless aroma. The Turks introduced coffee to Europe where for many years it was prepared and consumed as Turkish Coffee.
Turkish Coffee is made from high quality arabica coffee beans from Central America and Brazil that are blended and carefully roasted, then very finely ground. The coffee is mixed with water and the desired amount of sugar and cooked in a "cezve", or Turkish coffeepot. The coffee is served in small cups. The coffee must be left to stand for a short time after serving to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup.
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