August 3, 2009

Little cup, big tradition

Leah Schaffer has a great article about Turkish Coffee (entitled such) published in the Spring 2009 issue of Abroad View: The Global Education Magazine For Students.” 
Shaffer points out the strong relationship between Turkish coffee and Turkish culture: 

“…if you really want to submerge yourself in the Turkish culture, you need to look no deeper than the bottom of the teeny, tiny Turkish coffee cup.”

She also pays tribute to an important fact in the history of coffee that is often forgotten:

The first coffee to arrive in Turkey was brought by the Yemeni in 1543 during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.The Turkish people responded to the new coffee craze by establishing the world’s first coffeehouses a little more than 10 years later. Not unlike the atmosphere of Starbucks, they became places for people to read, play chess, and discuss music, art, and the latest town gossip. 

Lastly,  Schaffer pays homage to a Turkish term that sums of the beauty of Turkish coffee:

The Turkish term keyif, which means “idly enjoying the moment,” is used to describe the mood: imagine lounging around on plush cushions surrounding decorative pools with running water meant to soothe the senses. Walls to the left and right are covered with neat, little coffee cups and other small trinkets familiar to the coffee culture. Directly in front of you is one of the best panoramic views of the city. It may sound very much like posh coffeehouses tucked away in Manhattan or Los Angeles, but this was the making of a civilization in the mid-16th century.

Great job, Leah! We couldn’t have said it better.