Once a delicacy of the Ottoman upper classes, Turkish coffee is now enjoyed by all. The secret of Turkish coffee is to use good coffee beans and to create froth on the top. It is served in small cups in four different ways:
Sade - without sugar
Az Sekerli - with a little sugar
Orta - medium sugar
Sekerli - with lots of sugar
If trying Turkish coffee for the first time choose orta. Even if sugar is not normally taken in beverages, most tourists enjoy this variety. Normally a glass of water will be served with the coffee.
There is a lovely old story behind this tradition. Every day Mustafa would get up and take himself off to the village coffee shop. There he would sit for the day chatting with his friends and playing backgammon. Aysen his wife was most upset by this and one day decided to poison him.
His friend Ali heared of the plot and warned Mustafa. EWhen the poisoned coffee was served to Mustafa he asked for a glass of water. He poured some of the cold water into his coffee knowing that if there were any poison in the cup it would rise to the top. A lot of maen still pour some cold water into their coffee before drinking!
If 'normal' coffee is required remember to ask for 'Nescafe'.
Albrecht, M. (1994), Turkish Cypriot and Mediterranean Cookery, Havellia Publishing, London.
Salaman, R., (1991), The Cooking of Greece and Turkey, Sainsbury Cookbooks, London.