The History of Turkish Coffee: Tradition, Royalty And Marriage

Aside from water & tea, coffee has been an essential part of everyday adulthood. For anyone, coffee is considered a necessity to go through a day and meet the high demand for productivity that is being asked by this modern society. Whether it's mild, strong, flavorful, aromatic, hot, or cold, a cup of coffee can make your day lighter and better, most of the time. 


Coffee varies depending on its type, location, and the process of how it was planted & prepared afterward. To get to know more about it, familiarize yourself first with the two dominating types of coffee beans, the Coffee arabica and the Robusta coffee or Coffee canephora. 


As the majority of the world's consumption of coffee came from the Coffee arabica, many of the leading producers such as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia made their way on top as the main providers to other neighboring countries and continents. 


The other type of coffee bean that is rounder, cheaper, and can even grow at lower altitudes is the Robusta coffee. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia are some of the major producers of Robusta coffee.


The ancient story about the origin of coffee varies. It is difficult to say the exact date of when it was discovered. However, according to the Britannica website, wild coffee plants were from Kaffa, Ethiopia and the legend says that an Arab named Kaldi proclaimed his discovery to the world about the sense of exhilaration upon trying the berries of the evergreen bush which his goat was feeding on. And because of its stimulating effect, it became popular and spread among Arabs and nearby nations until two Syrian traders brought it to Istanbul during the 15th century.

It is said that the first coffee houses in the 15th & 16th century, known as qahveh khanehs, appeared in what we now called today as Istanbul, Turkey. Coffee, aside from their famous black tea, was immensely became popular among Turkish royalty and men back in the day and until now.


Coffee was given high regard among Sultans in the Ottoman Courts. Kahveci ust, known as coffee makers, conducts a traditional ceremony to serve and prepare the coffee to the sultans with the helped of forty assistants. This coffee ritual then played an important role in marriage proposal traditions that defined the gender roles in Turkish customs. 


In the past and even until now, Turkish coffee is being used as a tradition to pre-wedding ceremony in the country. When the groom and his family visit the bride’s family to formally ask for her hand in marriage and blessing from her family, the bride is in charge of preparing and serving Turkish coffee to everyone with special preparation for the groom.

A Traditional Pre-Wedding Ceremony

The bride serves a coffee with salt instead of sugar to him and he has to drink the whole coffee without making a face as a sign of his manliness and it shows that he is ready to marry her. But when was this tradition originated?


It is believed that this tradition originated when a retired colonel of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Fevzi and his family visited his bride and her family as part of the pre-wedding tradition. When she was preparing the coffee for all the guests, she accidentally used salt rather than sugar on the coffee. After tasting this “salty coffee”, Osman did not even make a strange face and he kept on drinking the coffee normally. The bride only noticed her mistake about the salty coffee when she noticed the reactions of the others upon tasting her coffee-making her feel ashamed. Not wanting for the bride to feel embarrassed, Osman proudly told everyone how much he loved the salty coffee and even asked her to continue making that kind of coffee after marriage. Doing this only proved that the groom should always be proud and always honor his bride no matter what. As the Turkish proverb states, “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” 

Making a Traditional Coffee

This traditional Turkish coffee is still present today in the modern country of Turkey. It is usually served in small cups and because of its strong brew with a slightly bitter taste, this traditional drink is usually accompanied by a glass of water and Turkish delight. You will be able to find some good cafes in the country where they served delicious coffee. However, if you wish to see the traditional look of how the Turkish coffee is being made then, Affordable Turkey with Amasya package can offer you such an opportunity in the old town of Safranbolu.


Another interesting fact about Turkish coffee is that after you finish drinking, you can close your cup with the saucer, make a wish, and then turn it over. The shape of the coffee ground after it cooled down can be used as a basis for your fortune teller. Don’t miss it!


Blog Contributed by: Ms. Honey Grace Angeles

Photos by: Rakso Travel



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