What would life be without coffee? Well, I assume it would be quite awful.
I love everything about coffee. When I open the vacuum packed canister that keeps my Sumatra free trade organic beans safe, I breathe in the heavenly, crisp scent and from that moment my Daily Buzz begins and I am blessed.
Coffee doesn’t just stimulate my brain (which is already rather overstimulated on most days) it awakes all of my senses. I usually start my day with a strong cup of black and by lunch I find myself indulging in a café au lait with just a bit of cinnamon on top. Late in the afternoon I may treat myself to a cappuccino and after dinner, a fine espresso and yes I am still able to fall asleep because coffee is the blood that runs through my veins.
So recently I was speaking with one of the owners here at Ideal Travel (Nadia - who is of Turkish descent) and she informed me that other than my Nespresso machine, I had the Turks to thank for this holy blessing of sacred beans in my life.
I love Turkish coffee. It’s rich, strong with a subtle woody taste. It has a kick to it that will zap your tongue into oblivion and certainly dissipate the taste of a heavy, garlic ridden meal (if you have ever had “garlic regret” you know how important this is - you know when you eat a meal full of garlic and it tastes great but a few hours after you can’t swallow your saliva and if you and your partner did not eat garlic together and you are about to go to sleep in the same bed, your breath alone may cause them to pass out).
So Turkish coffee is actually a style of serving coffee. Roasted and finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a pot (cezve) and served in a cup while the grounds settle. You can add sugar but the bravest of coffee drinkers (that’s me) feel that would be jeopardizing their “fix”.
This method of serving coffee is also found in the Middle East and North Africa. According to Wiki (and let’s face it most of today’s facts are according to Wiki), although coffee drinking started in 15th-century Yemen, the first coffeehouse opened in Istanbul in the 1640s.
As well as an 'every day' beverage, Turkish coffee is also a part of the Turkish wedding custom. As a prologue to marriage, the groom's family must visit the bride's family to ask permission for and blessings upon the upcoming marriage. During this meeting, the bride must prepare and serve Turkish coffee to the guests. For the groom's coffee, the bride uses salt instead of sugar to gauge his character. If the groom drinks his coffee without any sign of displeasure, the bride to be assumes that the groom is good tempered and patient.
I wonder how that would go over in North America? I don't think the coffee "test" is necessary - you just have to bring one another's families together under one roof and if they can handle each other, then you can wed without too much worry. Then again maybe you should just stick with salt in the groom's coffee.
Here is a recipe for Turkish coffee shared by about.com – give it a try first thing in the morning and chances are you will be as overstimulated as me (whether or not that is a good thing is questionable).
Recipe for Turkish coffee – start your day with a KICK
Sugar is added during the brewing process, not after, so the need for a serving spoon is eliminated. Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee. It is always served in demitasse cups. In some regions, your fortune is told by the placement of the coffee grinds left in the cup!
· 1 cup water
· 1 tablespoon of extra finely ground coffee (powder consistency)
· 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, or 1 cardamom pod
· sugar (optional)
Bring water and sugar to a boil in ibrik. If you do not have an ibrik, a small saucepan will work.
Remove from heat and add coffee and cardamom.
Return saucepan to heat and allow to come to a boil. Remove from heat when coffee foams.
Again, return to heat, allowing to foam and remove from heat.
Pour into cup, and allow to sit for a few minutes for the grounds to settle to the bottom of the cup.[nt][nt]Cardamom pod may be served in cup for added flavor.
Turkish Coffee Tips
· Turkish coffee must always be served with foam on top.
· If you can't find finely ground Arabic coffee, you can purchase a bag of coffee at any coffeehouse and ask them to grind it for Turkish coffee. You need to have a powder-like consistency.
· Do not stir after pouring into cups; the foam will collapse.
· Always use cold water.
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