Turkish Coffee2 January 2009 in General
The Turks first knew about coffee approximately four and a half centuries ago. Sometime afterwards a governor introduced to the Ottoman capital Coffee Arabica beans, the urban city was abundant in coffeehouses. During the times of the Ottoman Empire to the present, coffee has played a significant part in Turkish way of life and traditions. Coffee for the Turkish is not just a beverage. Therefore it has its own historical background, its own institutions known as coffeehouses, its own rituals and its own set of laws as to how it is consumed as well as when you consume it.
Turkish coffee is originally from Arabica bean. It is an extremely refined and powdery mixture. Cardamom which is an aromatic spice is occasionally added to the coffee while it is being grounded. Turkish coffee has four different levels of sweetness that range from really sweet to black. As the coffee commences to heat, it starts to foam. A rule of the Turkish coffee ritual states that if the foam is not present on the face of the coffee, the host loses face.
The essential tools needed to prepare Turkish coffee are composed of a small boiling pot, a teaspoon and a heating device. The components are finely ground coffee, cardamom which is sometimes added, cold water and sugar, if desired. It is served in a demitasse, which is a miniature cup that comes from the French meaning ‘half cup’ and is used to serve Turkish coffee or espresso. The cups we have now have handles but traditional cups did not so individuals drank coffee either by holding the cup with their fingers or, by putting the cup in a zarf, which is a metal container that has a handle. Also, a precise deepness of the water is required so that the coffee particles are able to sink. The teaspoon is used for mixing as well as measuring the quantity of the coffee and sugar. An ordinary stove burner is satisfactory for heating purpose, but too much of an intense heat source is not recommended. This is due the time needed for the coffee to be brewed, which is approximately five minutes.
Turkish coffee is at its best when it is produced from freshly roasted beans ground prior to brewing. A dark roast is preferred but a medium roast coffee will give off an intense aroma and taste. It is the most refined grind of coffee that is used in any coffee making technique. Turkish coffee that is prepared well has a thick foam at the top is consistent, and does not contain visible elements in the foam or the fluid. This is accomplished when cold water and a low heat are used. Turkish coffee is taken at very hot temperatures and is normally served with a glass of cold water to increase freshness in the mouth to acquire a better taste of the coffee.
Turkish coffee is served hot from a unique coffee pot known as a cezve. By tradition, after a guest has drunk the coffee and the cup is turned down on the saucer and set aside to cool, the hostess reads your fortune from the coffee grounds left in the cup. Turkish coffee is still a preferred blend that is rich in tradition aroma and flavour.
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