06-12-2022 - Food & Drink

Most Popular Places for the Best Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

In Istanbul, there are many things to do, many great foods to eat, and many traditional drinks to taste. In this article, we look at the famous Turkish coffee which is in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO. So let’s dig into this amazing Turkish tradition, from preparing Turkish coffee to serving ritual of it.

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What is Turkish Coffee?

The first thing to know is that coffee beans are not produced in Turkey so what makes them Turkish is the preparation technique. Turkish coffee combines special preparation and brewing techniques starting from grounding. The freshly roasted beans are ground to a fine powder; then the ground coffee, cold water, and sugar are added to a coffee pot and brewed slowly on a stove to produce a thick foam.

Turkish coffee is served in small cups, accompanied by a glass of water and a Turkish delight on sight. After drinking, coffee grounds remain at the bottom of the cup since the coffee is not filtered before pouring.

Turkish coffee is a strong coffee like espresso but it is also thick and creamy because it is not filtered. Although in recent years some flavored Turkish coffee types come to market, traditional plain Turkish coffee is still the most preferred one.

What is the importance of Turkish coffee in Turkish culture?

In houses and offices, Turkish coffee is a daily drink like tea. Outside nearly all restaurants and cafes offer Turkish coffee. Especially after dinner in a restaurant, the restaurant generally offers complimentary tea or Turkish coffee after the bill is paid. There are also special coffee houses where people meet to converse, share news, and read books.

Symbolizing hospitality, friendship, refinement, and entertainment, the tradition binds people from all walks of life together. An invitation for coffee among friends provides an opportunity for intimate talk and the sharing of daily life. On social occasions, such as holidays and engagement ceremonies, Turkish coffee occupies a prominent role, with knowledge and rituals being shared informally by family members.

The grounds left in the empty cup are often used to tell a person’s fortune. Turkish coffee is regarded as part of Turkish cultural heritage: it is celebrated in literature and songs and is an indispensable part of ceremonial occasions.

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The Most Popular Places for the Best Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

mandabatmaz Coffee House

Mandabatmaz means ‘’even a buffalo won’t sink in’’ and it is an appropriate name for their coffee with thick and creamy foam! It is located on the well-known Istiklal Street and is a very popular spot for anyone who’d love to have a cup of Turkish coffee during the day. Mandabatmaz is an old coffee house but it is still trendy with its cool brand. If you are around, it’s worth taking a break and tasting their strong and foamy Turkish coffee.

Corlulu Ali Pasha Medresesi Cafe

Drinking Turkish coffee in Corlulu Ali Pasha Medresesi is a totally authentic experience since the building itself was built in the 18th century as an Islamic school. Today it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Beyazit area with its cafe. Not only their Turkish coffee but also their hookah is famous so if you are in trying both, don’t miss it. Corlulu Ali Pasha Medresesi is a truly Instagrammable place with its small chairs and carpets on the wall!

Fazıl Bey’in Türk Kahvesi

The name means “Turkish coffee of Mr. Fazıl’’ and as expected from its name, the founder, Mr. Fazıl had a special formula to make his delicious Turkish coffee in the 1920s. Today his ancestors continue the tradition. Roasting and grinding unprocessed raw coffee according to the classical Turkish flavor is a difficult and experience-based process. Especially in the roasting process, personal mastery and experience determine the unique taste of coffee. They are against the production of raw coffee by fabrication methods, and they believe that the processing of Turkish coffee requires care and love. The old-fashioned machines they use in their establishment have been in operation for many years and continue to carry the unique taste of their coffee from the early days until today. So if you are in the Asian side of Istanbul, don’t miss this authentic experience but since it is a very popular spot, you can wait for a table for around 15-30 minutes.

Cumbalı Kahve

Here is a colorful coffee place in the heart of the historical neighborhood, Balat! They differ from other cafes with the coffee beans they use and their modern but still traditional ways of roasting and grinding raw coffee. They don’t serve sugar or milk with their coffee to keep the authentic taste of real coffee. In this colorful coffee house, Cumbalı Kahve you can find books about coffee and Istanbul. And to note that it is a perfectly Instagrammable place so if you are around Balat, stop for a coffee break and taste their special Turkish coffee.

Şark Kahvesi

Now a truly authentic place just at the heart of Grand Bazaar: Şark Kahvesi. Şark means ‘the East’ so you can expect to see a very eastern way of decoration in the cafe. To be honest, don’t expect the coffee to be mind-blowingly delicious but the general atmosphere in the coffee deserves to be experienced. You can have Turkish coffee and try their always-fresh baklava with your coffee. After your coffee, you can also have a cup of tea before you continue your journey into the Grand Bazaar.

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How much is a Turkish coffee in Istanbul?

It depends on the place but, a cup of Turkish coffee is around 80 Turkish liras. It is served with water and generally with a Turkish delight or chocolate on the side.

What is the most popular coffee in Turkey?

Turkish coffee is the most popular coffee by far in Turkey.

What is Turkish coffee called in Turkey?

Turkish coffee is called ‘Türk Kahvesi’ in Turkey. The meaning is the same, it means Turkish Coffee.

What coffee is best for Turkish?

Turkish coffee is the best coffee for Turkish people from all walks of life.

Where do they drink Turkish coffee?

Everywhere. Turkish people drink Turkish coffee every day at their houses, in their offices, in cafes, and in restaurants after a meal… Turkish coffee is an indispensable part of Turkish daily life with tea.

Can I get Turkish coffee at Starbucks?

Yes, in Turkey all the Starbucks cafes have Turkish coffee and it is served in its traditional cup with a bottle of water and a Turkish delight on the side.

Is Turkish coffee healthy?

Yes, since it's unfiltered, Turkish coffee contains higher levels of the beneficial compounds found in traditionally brewed coffee. Normally coffee beans contain healthy compounds like chlorogenic acids but if you filter coffee grounds, you may lose them. So unfiltered Turkish coffee is healthier than other filtered coffees.

Which brand of Turkish coffee is best?

If you want to take some Turkish Coffee home then go for Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish coffee, it is the most popular coffee among Turkish. You can find it in markets but prefer to buy from its store in Eminonu.

Is it healthy to drink Turkish coffee everyday?

Yes, if you are good with caffeine and if your doctor didn’t warn you about coffee consumption. Turkish people generally drink Turkish coffee every day.

How do they drink coffee in Turkey?

In Turkey, Turkish people put ground Turkish coffee, cold water, and some sugar in a single pot and boil it without mixing. In the end, the coffee will be foamy and since they don’t filter, the coffee ground will be at the bottom of the cup.

When should I stop drinking Turkish coffee?

If you have a heart condition or a sensitivity to caffeine, then you should stop drinking Turkish coffee. But if you are asking about the cup, then you should normally drink up to the coffee ground. Only drink the drinkable part, and leave the rest in the cup.

Why Turkish coffee is so special?

The preparation of Turkish coffee is different but what is truly special is the ritual behind Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee means a break in the middle of the day, call for an intimate talk between friends, and a part of a ceremony in engagement ceremonies.

Which is stronger Turkish coffee or espresso?

If we are talking about caffeine per mg, then espresso in stronger than Turkish coffee. But the taste of Turkish coffee may be stronger since it is unfiltered.

Can you add milk to Turkish coffee?

Normally no but it is your coffee, your choice. It is not easy to find a place to serve Turkish coffee with milk but you can add milk to your cup.

Do you drink all of the Turkish coffee?

No, you leave the grounds at the bottom. Only drink the drinkable part.

Do you drink all of the Turkish coffee grounds?

No, you only drink the liquid part of the Turkish coffee and leave the grounds in the cup.

Why is Turkish coffee served in small cups?

Turkish coffee is served in a small cup because it is a strong coffee and like espresso, it contains high caffeine so it is better to have it in a small cup. But you can always order double Turkish coffee in cafes.

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