Turkish Coffee from the 17th Century to the Present

In Ethiopia before the 900s, the Galla Tribe discovers the stimulating effect of coffee beans. The coffee beans are roasted and beaten and mixed with oil into a ball. Thanks to the brand new preparation method found by the Turks, coffee is cooked in jars and pots and takes the name Turkish coffee. The actual preparation of the coffee requires very detailed steps. First, the freshly roasted quality coffee beans are ground in a mortar or grinder until they become powder. Then, coffee, cold water and optionally sugar are added and put into the pot. The coffee is placed on the cooker and cooked so that foam is formed on the surface. Finally, it is served with a glass of water and Turkish delight. Achieving a good taste requires attention to some special points such as the way the coffee is roasted and the degree of it.

French traveller Jean de Thévenot, who visited the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century, met with coffee and explained at length the preparation method of this beverage, which is very similar to the current method, and explains how important a life element for the Ottomans: “Every Turk, rich or poor, has at least drinks two cups of coffee. Each husband is obliged to provide his wife with coffee”. Italian traveller Edmondo de Amicis, who visited Istanbul in the nineteenth century and lived here for a while, describes this passion as follows: “There is coffee on the hills of Galata Tower and Beyazıt Tower, there is coffee on the ferries, there is coffee in the cemetery, in the official offices. There is coffee, in the baths, there is coffee in the bazaar. No matter where you are in Istanbul, it is enough to just shout “coffee!”

In the first half of the 17th century, coffee was still an exotic beverage and, like other scarce ingredients such as sugar, cocoa, and tea, was originally used by the upper class as expensive medicines. Over the next 50 years, Europeans discovered the social as well as medicinal benefits of this Arabic drink. Coffee in the 1650s, on Italian streets; It was sold by lemonade vendors or aquaccdratajo, who also offer coffee, chocolate and liquor. Venice’s first cafe was opened in 1683. Named after the beverage it offered, the “caffe” (spelled as a cafe in other places in Europe) quickly became synonymous with fun friendships, cheerful conversations and delicious food.

History of Coffee

The coffeehouses first opened in Tahtakale in 1554 and spread rapidly throughout the city, whereby the people met with coffee. Coffee houses and coffee culture, where books and beautiful writings were read at all hours of the day, chess and backgammon were played, poetry and literary conversations were held, and coffee culture left their mark on the social life of the period.
Coffee, which took its place in the palace kitchen and in the houses, started to be consumed in large amounts. After the raw coffee beans were roasted in pans, they were pounded in mortars and then cooked in coffee pots and served with great care to the most respected friends.
In a short time, thanks to the merchants and travellers who came to Istanbul and the Ottoman ambassadors, the taste and reputation of Turkish Coffee first spread to Europe and then to the whole world.

Best Places to Drink Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

A friend meeting, a shopping break, a gift for tiredness… You have a coffee break, but where? Continue reading for the best places in Istanbul where you can taste traditional Turkish coffee…


It is a coffee shop that has been the subject of gourmet programs from many countries of the world and frequently hosts foreign guests. Since 1967, the place, which has labour and care in every step from the freshness of the coffee beans to the temperature of the cooking water and the presentation time, has been at the same address.
Address: Asmalımescit Mah. Olivia Passage 1 / A Beyoğlu / Istanbul

Sade Kahve

In Rumelihisarı, there is a place where you can drink Turkish coffee in the embers duly prepared against the Bosphorus: Sade Kahve. Those who come for breakfast on the weekends fill the tables.
Address: Yahya Kemal Cad. No: 20/A Rumelihisarı/Sarıyer/İstanbul

Cumbalı Kahve

Cumbalı Kahve is a charming coffee shop that draws attention with its blue decoration in Balat. You can get lots of information about coffee from Serhat, the owner of the place. This shop, which sells a wide variety of coffee, attracts the attention of coffee lovers. Old coffee pots used as flower pots on the walls can give you nostalgic feelings.
Address: Ayvansaray mahallesi, Kürkçü Çeşmesi caddesi No: 12,
Balat / Fatih / Istanbul


Located in Beşiktaş Çarşı, the place is frequented by coffee lovers, especially young people, at all hours of the day. There are also varieties of coffee such as gum mastic and cardamom. As they brew the coffee themselves, as soon as you enter the shop, the wonderful smell of coffee greets you. Apart from Turkish coffee, there are third wave coffee varieties, homemade desserts and cookies in the menu.
Address: Türkali mahallesi, Yeni Hamam caddesi, No: 11 / A, Beşiktaş, Istanbul


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