Разговор за чашкой кофе

Coffee in Turkey: a coffeeshop and the inspiration

An important and surprising fact that I learned from a local: "in Turkey, the tea culture is more developed than the coffee culture. Wherever you go, you can see people drinking tea everywhere" - this is how our dialogue with Mehmed about coffee began.

I was interested in the question of who first started making coffee in dzhezva, and it was the first thing about what I asked. The answer was surprising: "I think it's definitely not the Turks. Maybe Yemen. Do you know that the oldest coffee trees are located in the area between Ethiopia and Uganda?

Turkish coffee in stores is very dark roasted, mostly defective coffee. And if we are talking about the specialty industry, then a priori it should be a “special” coffee. The cost of special grain starts at $ 7 per kilogram, with an estimate above 90 according to SCA - this is already super-special.

By the way, coffee costs more in Turkey than in Russia or America - logistics is expensive, and customs is expensive."

About the work of the coffee shop and the preferences of the guests

There are a lot of people in the summer, the coffee shop is open from morning till the evening (from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.), in winter, of course, we work less.

About the price: 44 lira for a 350 ml latte. For 60 lira, no one will buy coffee anymore. The price increase of 20 liras is already critical for the locals.

In Turkey, a price change of 10 liras is normal, more is causing questions and misunderstanding.

Americano is more popular here because people don't want to wait for a V60 to be welded to them.

I believe that if a person has five minutes to wait, we will brew him a delicious V60, if there is no time, he or she can drink a cup of Americano.

I don't see the point in filter coffee. If you have time, drink V60, if you don't, drink Americano. Americano can be delicious too! For example, Tanzania is sweeter, Kenya is more acidic, not everyone likes it. For me, she is a rather strange story.

The season lasts from the beginning of May and ends at the end of October. October 31 is the celebration of the Republic Day and the end of the season, you can just watch crowds of people in the Porridge, we all finish the work season and celebrate. During the season, you have to work a lot, then - 3-4 hours a day at best.

About coffee traditions

After World War II, Istanbul became the most important coffee hub for the whole of Europe, because all the coffee from Brazil came here. And at that moment, the quality of coffee in the city has changed a lot. Up to this point, it was coffee from Ethiopia and Yemen, the quality is much higher, and then it became cheap Brazilian, and even of low quality. Now all Turkish coffee in stores is the cheapest Brazilian and Vietnamese coffee.

Turkey hosts several coffee festivals in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya.

Turkish coffee is bitter coffee, without any special taste. We prefer to drink it with something sweet.

About the opening of a coffee shop

For 10 years I worked in a large company as an international trader, and then I decided to do my own business and opened my own coffee shop. This is the third year of its existence. I started with 10 cups of coffee a day. My record last summer was 256 cups per day. My coffee shop can handle a maximum of 300/day.

About the balance between coffee and milk

It is important that there is balance everywhere. If I add plus one espresso, I will add plus one serving of milk to preserve the taste. And, in general, it all depends on what your guest wants to get. It is important to understand which cup he wants. I always ask people: tell us what you want and we'll cook you what you want.

Then we tried variations of espresso and Americano, discussed what happened to the taste and body of espresso. We discussed which coffee feels better in espresso and which in Americano.

The concept of specialty

Special coffee is beans that are harvested in a special way, grown under certain conditions and have certain taste and aroma characteristics and can surprise.

Specialty coffee is when we know about the whole path that coffee goes, we know where and from whom it comes. And we can turn to the one who raised him, establish stable ties with him and continue cooperation. The advantages that I have already mentioned make coffee special.

About serving coffee and coffee shop

Coffee cannot be served in glass, it does not retain heat. Coffee is best suited to white cups, which both retain heat and do not transfer any paint inside.

By the way, I am not a certified barista, I have not received any training. I just love coffee, a barista taught me how to make it. When I opened, I started myself, now I have 6 baristas working in three shifts.

Then we talked about how to beat milk properly. And why it is quite common in Turkey to serve several identical coffee and milk drinks of different temperatures.

"There is no bad coffee! There's just your coffee and not yours. If you don't like it, then it's just not your coffee," Mehmed told me when I started talking about the lack of balance in local cappuccino. Then I thought it was just a perfect metaphor for life: "There is yours, and there is just not yours."

About cold brew and Mama Africa

That year I made cold brew coffee myself, in Indonesia and Brazil, brewed and filtered everything myself, offered two types of such coffee, this year, unfortunately, I don't have time for it.

The name of the coffee shop was born because of the love of Africa! I traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, and, of course, fell in love …

About favorite African country

Zambia! Tanzania and Zambia are very clean and absolutely incredible. I was amazed when I saw them. And people were amazed when they saw me. In general, Africa is an incredible and indescribable place.

About the history of coffee in the family and some traditions

My grandmother herself roasted coffee in a frying pan, then ground it on a coffee grinder, like in the painting by Paul Cezanne "A Woman with a coffee grinder".

We have a rule: if you have a cup of coffee with someone, then you are friends for life.

Coffee is the best way of communication!

Usually, during Muslim holidays or other holidays, people go to visit each other, drink Turkish coffee together with banana/mint liqueur. Turkish coffee is getting hotter, and therefore it needs something sweeter and sweeter.

A cup is important for Turkish coffee! Always with a handle! A handle is important for every coffee mug - believe me!

Then we drank coffee, laughed and discussed coffee culture for a long time. Being in Porridge, be sure to look into Mama Africa and enjoy pleasant conversations and delicious coffee!

P.S. Pay attention to the Russian jeeps that are hanging in the coffee shop, as well as the issue of the magazine! Ask the barista or the owner! Have a nice day and a delicious coffee.

I embrace you,
Your Dasha!
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