December 13, 2011

Category Archives: Turkish Coffee World

Turkish Coffee World

Dear Albanians: We Are At Your Service!

Yes folks, it’s that wonderful time of year again.

Lately things have been hectic at Turkish Coffee World as we gear up for the holiday rush (who wouldn’t want to find a Turkish coffee gift basket underneath the Christmas tree?) That’s no excuse for the measly posting rate on this blog– but I do plan to post far more often as we approach the new year.
Pending that whole end-of-the-world scenario falls flat, of course.
Although much of our energy has been directed toward our seasonal traffic, we are proud to make a very special announcement: Kafe Shqiptare has produced the worlds first uniquely Albanian coffee! 
And here’s the best part: we are now the sole U.S. supplier for their Albanian coffee!
We are overjoyed by this opportunity to support Albanian culture!
From the shores of the Adriatic to the smallest mountain village and from the streets of Tirana to the cities of the New World, there is one thing that brings together all Albanians: love of coffee.
Kafe Shqiptare was born out of an independent spirit and a love of the distinctive coffee-house culture Albanians share. Kafe Shqiptare SKËNDERBEU has introduced the world’s first uniquely Albanian coffee, firmly rooted in the finest traditions of the Albanian coffee house.
You heard it here, folks: We now carry delicious, finely-ground, neighborhood-style Albanian coffee.
This truly is a Turkish Coffee World.

Alright– I’m off to go caroling, TCW style!

“Jezvehs roasting on an open fire…”

How Turkish Coffee Helped My Dad Quit Smoking and Continue Living

mustafacoffeeEven though my family is Turkish, we didn’t discover the delights of drinkingTurkish coffee until a few years ago. My dad sort of stumbled up on it whilelooking for ways to quit smoking (after a heart attack, he knew that if he wanted to continue living, his terrible smoking habit would have to stop.) 

While my dad was reading everything he could get his hands on to figure out how he could quit smoking, he read somewhere that the best way to lose a bad habit is to swap it with a good one. That made a lot sense to him, so he started to search for a “good habit.”

People that have had to quit this habit know that one of the worst times the cravings occur is right after meals. He needed something to help during these periods and started to make Turkish coffee after his meals.

Why Turkish coffee?

Because it requires patience, it takes concentration; it’s drunk sip by sip, which is great for curbing urges.
There are several reasons for it being a relaxing activity. For one, Turkish coffee is not the kind of a beverage you can just grab it and run with it, or gulp down on the rush to work. You have to sit down before you can even drink it– otherwise, it will spill because the cups are so small!

Then what? 

Well, you have to wait a little for the grounds to settle at the bottom. You are most likely dying to take a sip at this point, but patience is essential to a sound mind. Now is a great time to strike up an interesting conversation with a family member or anyone nearby. 

In general, coffee has a powerful ability to enhance communication and interaction. This is particularly true about Turkish coffee, for the reasons being discussed.

Now what?

Take a sip.

Just “a sip?”

Well, you can’t chug the thing down like a Starbucks milkshake.

And why is that?

Well, for several reasons. For one, you need to wait a minute or so for the grounds to settle. Next, you don’t want to rush through the experience! The foamy layer on the top is considered by most to be the richest part of the experience; there are subtle nuances in flavor that should not be rushed through.

And, the coffee did take some time to prepare, so you don’t exactly want to rush at this point.

Most importantly, just relax. 

Take some time to savor it slowly and really appreciate the Turkish coffee experience. Draw a deep breath, and notice the rich deepness in scent that is only released from grinding beans to such a fine consistency. Sip the coffee and swish it around you palate to really taste the flavor – just like wine tasting (in fact, the word “coffee” is thought to originate from “kahwa,” which translates directly to wine in some languages.)

Calm yourself, reap the benefits of your preparation and enjoy the activity that people have been enjoying for centuries. This is what Turkish coffee is about.

After all this, you’ll find yourself only 3/4ths of the way into actually drinking your coffee. Don’t worry about it getting cold; Turkish coffee cups have been designed and crafted especially for the purpose of keeping the drink hot for long periods of time. The cups are very thin, and the material retains heat so well that the coffee stays hot for a long time. In contrast, modern drip coffee cups of flimsy cardboard and foam hold no light to this classic perfection.

In addition, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone drinking Turkish coffee out of a plain white demitasse cup. The cups used are usually decorated with colorful art designs. Sometimes, the uniqueness or the artistry of a certain cup itself will even spark a conversation!

Lets continue the process.

While you’re sitting there, sublimely sipping your coffee, why not include some sweets to compliment your creation? Many people like to have a Turkish delight or a piece of baklava on the side rather than adding any sugar to their cup. (By the way, the key to these sweets is freshness, freshness, freshness. This can often be difficult to find in your locale, so rest assured that our sweets are fresh from Turkey.)

By now, you are getting to the bottom of your cup, so is the whole ritual over? No, not quite yet. Now you need to turn your coffee cup upside down on your saucer. Why? Well, there are people who claim to have an ability to read your fortune from the grinds. It’s sort of like reading your horoscope from a cup of coffee. Even if you don’t believe in these sorts of things, the results can be very interesting, and your imagination will be perked.

What do you see? A healthier future?

Be social and prosper.

The experience of drinking Turkish coffee continues beyond the last sip. As stated earlier, the beverage has be lauded for as a catalyst for opening dialogue and causing one to engage in invigorating conversation.

While the beverage is still delicious and worthwhile alone, Turkish coffee is really all about socializing. Like a good glass of wine, it was meant to be shared. There is one Turkish proverb that states: “One neither desires coffee nor coffee house, one desires to converse, coffee is but an excuse.”

Any smoker knows that their habit is just as social in nature; this is why Turkish coffee is a great replacement for the rituals of you past habit. Grab a friend a make them your “coffee buddy,” who will meet with you to prepare the drink on a regular basis. 

Start a town meet up for smokers that want to quit and take on a new habit, and collectively fall in love with Turkish coffee. Bond with members of your household by sharing you new hobby with them, and encourage them to try it even if they “don’t like coffee.”

I hope Turkish coffee can be as helpful to you in your quest to quit the habit as it was to my dad. Let us know in the comments if you decide to take the “Turkish coffee challenge.” Good luck!

Turkish coffee & spice grinders

turkish-grinders-500x1101By Amy Scattergood, May 11, 2009

These utterly gorgeous contraptions are brass grinders, made for pepper or other spices, or for the grinding of Turkish coffee. They’re both from Turkey: the smaller of the two I bought at the spice bazaar in Istanbul a few years ago; the larger is from 
Turkish Coffee World, a fantastic online site that sells Turkish coffee paraphernalia. 

Turkish Coffee World is run by Istanbul native Mustafa Arat, who operates a one-man company out of his home in the sun-drenched suburban world of swimming pools and occasional palm trees in Corona, California. Arat imports his coffee grinders and pots (cezve) and cups from Turkey, as well as coffee itself from Mehmet Efendian Istanbul coffee company which was founded in 1871. 

The grinders are stunningly pretty; they’re also seemingly indestructable, unlike all the other coffee grinders that have passed through my kitchen to date. You can adjust the grind by turning the screws on the side. The tall grinder grinds very finely, which is how Turkish coffee is ground, like powder. I’ve set the smaller of the two to grind more coarsely, which is how I like my black pepper. I’ve also used it for allspice, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns.

If you don’t have one of these, by the way, and are still interested in making Turkish coffee at home (very easy: see Arat’s site for how to do this), you can use any medium roast coffee and simply grind it at the grocery store. It turns out that most of the public coffee grinders at grocery stores have settings for Turkish coffee grind, which I didn’t realize until Arat told me to check. It’s worth getting one of these though, so you don’t have to grind your Tellicherry peppercorns at Trader Joe’s, which I don’t imagine they’d appreciate.