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Not just a drink but a culture

Brewing Turkish coffee is an art.

COFFEE is a popular drink universally, embedded in global cultures and served in endless ways. Relationships are built or fostered over a cuppa. It is a drink that crosses borders and is familiar to people of most cultures.

In Turkiye, drinking coffee is a cultural tradition.

Turkish coffee has spread across the vast Ottoman geography and transcended borders with its rituals, traditions and role,” said Turkiye’s ambassador to Malaysia Emir Salim Yuksel at an event to commemorate World Turkish Coffee Day on Dec 5.

Guests present at his official residence in Kuala Lumpur included members of the diplomatic corps, media, and social media influencers.

They were treated to coffee along with Turkish cuisine ranging from sweet to savoury.

“This day is important to us as it is part of our culture, where our coffee revolves around our socialising, be it during weddings, birthdays and conversations. It is not just a drink.

“Turkiye is not a coffee producing country but coffee is deeply embedded in our culture and society since the 16th century during the Ottoman empire, brought into Istanbul from Ethiopia and Yemen.

“Turkish coffee comes with a unique way of brewing and serving,” he said with pride.

He added that this year was also the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Turkish coffee on the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

The beverage is truly an integral part of Turkish life.

In fact, the Turkish word for breakfast is kahvalti, which literally means “before coffee”.

Yuksel (centre) with Ates (right) watching the brewing of Turkish coffee at the ambassador’s home in Kuala Lumpur.

At the event, guests were shown the preparation process, which was an art in itself.

Finely ground coffee beans were brewed in a cezve, a small copper pot placed on fine sand and over low heat, creating a thick, strong brew.

The coffee was then poured into small cups, leaving behind a layer of rich foam, known as kopuk.

Making Turkish coffee traditionally is unique, by using a pan filled with sand that is heated over an open flame. This allows for the heat to be evenly distributed.

Turkish coffee is often served with a glass of water and lokum (Turkish Delight).

Ephesus Global became the main distributor of Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish coffee in Malaysia in June 2019.

“Turkish coffee is different from other coffee because of the brewing style which normally uses a coffee filter.

“We use pure Arabica beans and heat with no filter.

“We do not add sugar or milk at the beginning of brewing,” said Ephesus Global Trading Sdn Bhd director Mert Ates.

Another interesting fact about Turkish coffee is that the grounds at the bottom of the cup that is not consumed is used to read your fortune.

The most widely practiced traditional Turkish coffee cup reading is called fal, which literally means ‘fortunes’.

An array of Turkish food laid out for guests during the event.

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