Seating arrangement on a divan
Louis Dupré, 19th Century

A Cup of Coffee - A Special Memory of 40 Years
Yapı Kredi Publications

Since the middle of the Sixteenth Century when coffee first reached our shores, it must be said that a passionate link has existed between Turks and this hot beverage. The coffee plant does not grow in our land, but the method of preparation from the roasting to the cup will always be known as “Turkish coffee.” In the old Ottoman lands, the method of preparation in a small pot known as the “cezve” was the modus operandi of brewing coffee all over the world from Boston to Vienna up until the Eighteenth Century, when filtered coffee came into use. On the route that coffee took as it spread from its origins in the Sudan in northeastern Africa where it was first consumed as a drink, the Ottoman Empire, particularly Istanbul, was no doubt the most important stop on the way to its becoming the beverage of choice. Starting in the 17th century, Ottoman citizens played a leading role in the introduction, spread and popularity of coffee in Venice, Marseilles, Paris, London, Vienna and other important metropolises of Europe. In a very short span of time Europeans, having adopted coffee as their own and soon realizing its economic dimension, started large coffee plantations in their colonies, thus playing a big role in coffee’s becoming a worldwide beverage. As for this country, much beyond its becoming a drink, the rituals, traditions and social customs associated with coffee that have passed down from generation to generation are part of the Turkish identity.

Seventeenth Century French traveler Jean de Thévenot who was introduced to coffee during his long stay in the Ottoman Empire, described in lengthy detail how to prepare this strange drink (in a way similar to how it is still done today) and referred to its importance in daily life: “… rich or poor, every Turk drinks at least two cups of coffee a day, and every marital engagement puts the husband in charge of providing coffee to his wife.” Nineteenth Century Italian traveler Edmondo de Amicis who visited and remained here for a time writes: “There is coffee at the top of the Galata Tower and the Beyazit Tower, coffee on the steamboats, coffee at the cemeteries, coffee in offices of State, coffee in the baths, coffee in the markets. Wherever one happens to roam in Istanbul, simply by shouting ‘coffee!’ without even looking, one will be holding a coffee cup within three minutes.”

The Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association was founded to preserve this cultural treasure of ours and to convey to future generations the social importance of coffee to the Turkish identity.

Board of Advisors: Board of Directors:
Mr. Çelik ARSEL (Chair) Ms. Merve GÜRSEL (Chair)
Ms. Merve GÜRSEL Mr. Osman SERİM (Vice Chair.)
Mr. Rıfat Osman SERİM Mr. Ahmet Burak ÖRS
Ms. Işık BİREN Mr. Talip Murat KOLBAŞI
Mr. Talip Murat KOLBAŞI Ms. Asuman ŞENER
Mr. Mehmet Asım İPLİKÇİOĞLU Ms. Nigar Nalan ÇEKİÇ
Ms. Emine Gürsoy NASKALİ Mr. Serdar İPLİKÇİOĞLU
Mr. Murat SUNGAR Mr. Ali ARAL
Mr. Tunç ULUĞ
Mr. Ahmet Burak ÖRS