Turkish coffee is the original gourmet coffee, a sophisticated beverage dating back 500 years to the heights of the Ottoman empire. Crafted and refined in 16th century Istanbul’s grand palaces, Turkish coffee is the genesis of nearly all the coffee cultures found around the world today.

Turkish coffee has held strong cultural importance for centuries, with the making and serving of the drink a ceremonial event that is deeply respected and lavished over. Traditionally, the coffee beans were roasted by hand over hot coals, then either pounded in a large pestle and mortar to a fine powder, or finely ground in a special hand-held brass grinder called a kahve degirmeni.

While Turkish coffee is produced in much the same way as European coffees – using the same Arabica beans and roasting techniques – it has two important distinctions: the way the beans are ground (much finer than even for espresso) and the way the coffee is brewed. Turkish coffee is brewed together with the water (and sugar, if taken) according to a special ancestral method. The contents of the pot are then poured, unfiltered, into the cup, where the grounds settle at the bottom and give the coffee its unique softness and opulence.

Once brewed, Turkish coffee is traditionally served in small ornate cups called fincans (pronounced fin-jans) usually presented on a silver tray with a selection of sweet treats like Turkish delight and mastic cake, and always with a glass of water.

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