April 30, 2009

Turkish coffee set delivers flavor and fun

By Abbi Perets on CNET News

I’m currently spending five weeks visiting my husband’s family in Israel, and we’re right in the middle of the holiday of Passover. As is traditional during the intermediate days of the week-long festival, yesterday we went on a day trip to get out and enjoy nature–and to eat. A lot. At the end of the day, after eating continuously for 7 hours, we decided to head to a nearby campground and roast marshmallows. And to drink? Well, Turkish coffee, of course.

Is that not what you generally drink with your toasted marshmallows? Well, you’re missing out. And if you’ve never had Turkish coffee, you’re really missing out. I hadn’t had a decent cup in years, but our friend cooked up a batch that was nothing short of amazing. Turkish coffee should really be roasted outdoors over an open fire, but in a pinch you can use your gas cooktop. The Turkish Coffee Set has everything you need to get started and enjoy your first cup of genuine Middle Eastern flavor–a small ibrik (that’s the pot you make the coffee in), half a pound of Turkish coffee, and complete instructions. Cooking the coffee is half the experience, so take your time and do it right. When made properly, Turkish coffee is designed to be savored slowly, with good friends and great conversation. Once you master the technique, you can invest in a larger ibrik and serve your friends. Even if your normal drink is a Starbucks concoction, give Turkish coffee a try; it’s a nice change of pace.

March 9, 2009

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton having Turkish coffeeHillary Clinton having a cup of Turkish coffee on her visit to Turkey last week.

By Sue Pleming 

ANKARA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a sideshow to diplomacy, lamented on Saturday her fashion sense, divulged when she fell in love and shared how she dealt with personal struggles.

Appearing on a popular Turkish television chat show, Hadi Gel Bizimle (Come and Join Us), Clinton tackled a few diplomatic questions but the main focus was on her personal life, such as when she “last” fell in love.


November 19, 2008

Turkish coffee reading is now available on your iPhone and iPod touch!

The tradition of Tasseology, tea leaf and Turkish coffee reading, is
now available on your iPhone and iPod touch. Tasseology is available
at the Apple App Store
for US$3.99.

When you drink your cup of tea or coffee the leftover sediment
purportedly has meaning. Touch the leftover leaves or grounds and you
will learn about the future of your life in three key areas: love,
money, and work.

Tasseology reads to you in using the sound functionality of the
iPhone. While the predictions are displayed on screen you also can
listen to them. Upon request the Tasseology Oracle speaks to you in
English or Turkish.

August 5, 2008

Turkish coffee vs Greek coffee

While reading a forum based in London, i came across this thread about using the term Turkish coffee as opposed to Greek Coffee. The post raises some very interesting points:


This has generated a lively debate since I posted it
last week.
I think the winner is Sotirios with his
“Its Turkish coffee, and Turkish delight or
Lokoumia as we say in Greek which is another variation on the Turkish word
Lokoum (apologies to turkish speakers if spelling is off a bit).
We should
all acknowledge that centuries of living next to or with each other mean that
ideas and customs have been exchanged.“

The fascist Greek Junta tried to change the centuries
old Turkish coffee into Greek coffee in 1974 at the height of the anti-Turkish
hysteria about Cyprus when it issued a decree banning the use of words such as
Turkish coffee and Tourkolimani (Turkish port – name of the main port in

To insist calling
Turkish coffee Greek coffee is a form of racism.

I congratulate Sotirios and all other contributors who reject this form
of racism.

So whatever nationality cook yourself a nice cup of Turkish
coffee in an ‘ibrik’ or a ‘cezve’ and enjoy it with some Turkish delight!


Tourkikos cafes
Caffe Turco
Türkischer kaffee
Café Turc
Türk kahves



London, England

July 17, 2008

Coffee Drinking May Prolong Life

I recently read a very informative article article entitled, “Coffee Drinking May Prolong Life” by Madeline Ellis. Ellis informs us of a new study done by Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain, which suggests that, “drinking coffee in moderate amounts, up to six cups a day, may actually reduce the risks of death in general, and may help to combat heart disease, especially in women.
I’ve posted the article below in its entirety:

The aroma….the taste….the caffeine lift! No wonder millions of people, both young and old, around the world love nothing better than sitting down to a good cup of coffee. But as with many other things we enjoy in our everyday life, we often question whether it is good for us. Over the years there have been thousands of studies done on the health effects of coffee, yielding no clear consensus. However, the latest and one of the largest studies ever conducted suggests that drinking coffee in moderate amounts, up to six cups a day, may actually reduce the risks of death in general, and may help to combat heart disease, especially in women.

In the study, researchers led by Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia, assistant professor of preventative medicine at the Autonoma University in Madrid, Spain, tracked 86,214 female nurses, who had participated in the Nurse’s Health Study, from 1980 to 2004 and 41,736 male veterinarians, pharmacists and other health care workers, who had participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, from 1986 to 2004. At the onset of the study, all volunteers were free of heart disease and cancer.
The participants answered detailed questionnaires every two to four years, which included information about their coffee consumption and other dietary habits, weight, exercise habits, smoking history and health conditions. The researchers then compared the frequency of death from any cause, death due to heart disease, and death due to cancer among people with different coffee-drinking habits. After accounting for other risk factors, such as smoking, diet and body size, the researchers found that women who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and an 18 percent lower death risk from a cause other than cancer or heart disease, compared to non-coffee drinkers. For men, the study did not find an increase or decrease in death risk. Dr. Lopez-Garcia surmised it could be that there were fewer men involved in the study and they were tracked for a shorter period of time.

The researchers found the lower risk of death was mainly due to a lower risk for death from heart disease, and they found no link between coffee drinking and cancer deaths. And, according to the researchers, participants who drank caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee had similar death rates, suggesting that caffeine was not responsible for the effect.

“Our results suggest that long-term, regular coffee consumption does not increase the risk of death and probably has several beneficial effects on health,” said Dr. Lopez-Garcia. However, she also stressed that the study findings should be read with caution and may only hold true for healthy people. Those “with any disease or condition should ask their doctor about their risk, because caffeine still has an acute effect on short-term increase of blood pressure,” she said.

Dr. Peter Galier, an internal medicine specialist, former chief of staff at Santa Monica UCLA and Orthopedic Hospital and associate professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles’ David Geffen School of Medicine, said that while the study is interesting, it does have its pitfalls. For instance, self-reporting could be one, since people may have under or over-reported their coffee consumption. “I think what this study tells us is not so much that coffee is the answer to everything. But, rather, that some compounds, such as the antioxidants found in coffee, may be healthy,” he said.

“There’s very little evidence that coffee itself is a bad thing. It’s gotten a bit of a bum rap,” said Ken Mukamal, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Mukamal, who did not participate in this study, has been involved in other epidemiological studies on coffee and mortality. Mukamal point out that past studies have shown that the health effects of coffee may depend on how it’s made. He said that boiled drinks like Turkish coffee and French press have high levels of a cholesterol-boosting compound called cafestol, and “coffee drinks” like mocha triple venti lattes are full of calories, which may offset any benefit of the coffee itself. In comparison, filtered drip coffee, which most of the survey respondents likely consumed, has few calories and almost no cafestol. The study is probably “saying something about filtered, good old-fashioned 1980’s and 1990’s coffee and not saying very much about the fancy kinds of coffee that you might be drinking in 2008,” he said.

The study findings were reported in the June 17 Annals of Internal Medicine.


June 30, 2008

Turkish coffee

img_1675_2The other day, badly in need of a good jolt of caffeine, I remembered a recipe for Turkish coffee from a great book I reviewed last year: Ana Sortun’s “Spice” (HarperCollins, 2006). So I found the coffee pot I’d brought back from Istanbul and made a batch in the Test Kitchen. Turkish coffee is fantastic stuff, brewed by repeatedly heating a mixture of finely ground coffee beans, water and sugar so that it rises up in the pot and then sinks back down. Sortun not only gives a recipe, but tells you how to read your fortune in the grounds too. A pattern of dots means that you’re spending too much money; a circle predicts good fortune; a leaf fortells new friendship. I’m not really sure what this one meant — maybe that there’s a happy, dancing frog in my future. 
— Amy Scattergood
Photo by Amy Scattergood

May 26, 2008

Try the Tradition of Turkish Coffee and Taste the Difference

The Europeans got their first taste of Turkish Coffee from the Ottoman Turks, who brought coffee to the West. They were great coffee drinkers, both at home and in public houses, the forerunners of our cafs, which started to spring up across the Islamic countries. Turkish coffee became part of the Turks life known as the “Wine of Islam” and the “Milk of Chess Players and Thinkers”.
Turkish coffee is derived from the famous Arabica coffee bean, often the addition of the aromatic Cardamom spice is added to the coffee while it is being ground. Another method boils seeds with the coffee and lets them float to the top when served.
Traditionally Turkish Coffee has six levels of sweetness from ranging from very sweet to black. Sugar is not added to the coffee after it has been served. As the coffee begins to heat, it begins to foam. A rule of the traditional Turkish coffee ceremony states that if the foam is absent from the coffee, the host loses face. Turkish coffee is served hot from a special pot called a cezve.
In order to make your own brew of “Milk of Thinkers”, heat water in a pot, add coffee and sugar to taste. Bring to boil. Pour half of the coffee into demitasse cups and return the remaining coffee to the heat and bring back to boil. Spoon off the foam and gently place without stirring. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of cold water, 4 teaspoons of strong dark roast coffee and about 4 teaspoons of sugar.
You can try adding cardamom if you like the taste. After some experimenting, you’ll have an almost authentic Turkish coffee.
Article was prepared by Nicholas Webb of www.allabout-coffee-beans.comwww.allabout-coffee-beans.com

April 25, 2008

Cafe Baum

coffee baumThe oldest coffee house in Europe beside the Parisian “Café Procope” is to be found in Leipzig, Germany. In 1694 Heinrich Schütze opened the “Coffe Baum” in 4 Kleine Fleischergasse and gave out free coffee.

Over the following three centuries, many notable personages met here and enjoyed the popular drink. Gottsched, Klinger, E. T. A. Hoffmann or Wagner were often seen going in and out. Goethe, Lessing, Bach and Grieg were also known to be guests there. In the Schumann Room situated on the ground floor, Robert Schumann would meet with friends at his regular table between 1828 and 1844. Revolutionaries such as Blum, Liebknecht and Bebel also made “Coffe Baum” their second living-room. In 1990 Helmut Kohl and Lothar de Maizière discussed the possibilities of reunification here.

The sandstone sculpture above the doorway to “Coffe Baum” is especially famous. An Ottoman offers cupid a cup of coffee. It symbolises the meeting of the Christian western world with the Islamic East. No other than Augustus the Strong was supposed to have donated this sculpture as way of saying thank you to the landlady, who had taken immaculate care of him.

One of the most important coffee museums’ worldwide is to be found on the third floor. Over 500 chosen exhibits from 300 years of Saxony’s coffee and cultural history are presented over 15 rooms.

April 21, 2008

What’s So Special About Turkish Coffee?

Copy of Se3t - 2 Cups 1 cezve

By Stephen Haworth
Caffeine is a drug, yes, but a very sweet one at that. It enhances the senses and uplifts the spirits. Coffee is, without a doubt, a culture unto itself. Used as a means to gather, laugh and debate. Coffee is a social beverage. Its roots are as storied and full as the roasts you may drink.
Within the borders of Turkey coffee has become an institution. It has its own culture complete with ritual and house of worship (coffeehouses). Turkish coffee, in particular may, without a doubt in most coffee lovers’ minds be the be all and end all of coffee. It was introduced to Turkey in the early to mid 1500’s, finding the first coffeehouse opening soon after.
Coffee came at a rather interesting time in Turkish history as it was geared more toward decadence than business. This gave way to many rituals. One of which was to brew the beans slowly over fifteen to twenty minutes in a copper coffee pot nestled among the embers of smoldering charcoal. The pot was removed frequently to prevent overheating. You can certainly tell the difference, if you are a coffee connoisseur, between Turkish coffee and your run of the mill modern day restaurant coffee.
The Turks believed in delicate brewing and all that was needed was a copper pot that came to a point, a teaspoon and something to heat it with. Water was always cold and the coffee fresh ground right before brewing. One thing that makes Turkish coffee so good, rich and special as that many would add cardamom and or sugar to the ground prior to brewing. Also unique is that the ingredients were added to the water instead of the water added to the ingredients. After all of the ingredients are added, they are stirred, spoon removed and pot placed on the heating source. No more stirring occurs and the pot is removed periodically to prevent the overheating mentioned earlier.
Identifying well prepared Turkish coffee is easy. It’s not too hot and has a thick foam resting comfortably on top and is free of any dark particles. In some circumstances, the coffee is brought to a boil and just before boiling over is removed the heat then replaced to do it all over again. This process is done two or three times and concentrates the coffee down. Cold water is served and drank before the coffee to cleanse the palette. Traditionally, the pastry known as Turkish Delight was served alongside the coffee and afterward you’re treated to mint liqueur.
Turkish coffee is special. Not because it tastes good, but because of the care and love that is put into the preparation and consumption of it. Coffee has a very special meaning to the Turkish people and to the culture of their land and that should be respected. The whole premise and life of coffee in Turkey gave way to all of the coffeehouses and coffee business that we partake in to this day from our Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to your mom and pop Beatnik Coffee Dens. Without Turkish coffee, we would have no coffee at all.
Steve is a regular contributor to Coffee Maker Review an informational website for Coffee Maker ratings and reviews on the top brands including Bunn Coffee Makers and Senseo Coffee Makers

April 16, 2008

Daily caffeine ‘protects brain’

776552093_71c4ea123d_mHere is a very informative and interesting article on the benefits of coffee from BBC. According to scientists in the UK, a cup of coffee will help protect the “blood brain barrier,” which works toward lessening a whole host of neurological ailments. This progress has been noted in rabbits, with high-hopes for similar results in healthy adults and Alzheimer’s patients.      

Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.


The drink has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and a study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation may explain why.
A vital barrier between the brain and the main blood supply of rabbits fed a fat-rich diet was protected in those given a caffeine supplement.
UK experts said it was the “best evidence yet” of coffee’s benefits.

 Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders
Dr Jonathan Geiger
University of North Dakota

The “blood brain barrier” is a filter which protects the central nervous system from potentially harmful chemicals carried around in the rest of the bloodstream.
Other studies have shown that high levels of cholesterol in the blood can make this barrier “leaky”.
Alzheimer’s researchers suggest this makes the brain vulnerable to damage which can trigger or contribute to the condition.
The University of North Dakota study used the equivalent to just one daily cup of coffee in their experiments on rabbits.
After 12 weeks of a high-cholesterol diet, the blood brain barrier in those given caffeine was far more intact than in those given no caffeine.
‘Safe drug’
“Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky,” said Dr Jonathan Geiger, who led the study.
“High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood brain barrier.
“Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.”
A spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Society said that the barrier seemed to work less efficiently in people who went on to develop Alzheimer’s or suffer strokes, and the cholesterol link might explain this.
“This is the best evidence yet that caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee a day can help protect the brain against cholesterol.
“In addition to its effect on the vascular system, elevated cholesterol levels also cause problems with the blood brain barrier.”
She called for more research into whether the same effect could be seen in humans.

Click here to see more information from BCC regarding the story.

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