As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, tea and coffee are part of everyday life in Turkey. Before coming here I was not a fan of either. But I have adapted by now and enjoy both of them on a daily basis while chatting to friends and sometimes even strangers. You are offered tea and coffee almost everywhere: after a meal in a restaurant, at the hair dressers, at the police station… (No, I was not involved in any crime. But I was indeed offered a drink while waiting for my resident permit to be issued.)
My flat mates have taught me how to prepare Turkish coffee and they have also introduced me to the art of coffee reading. As we were sitting with a friend the other day, I was asked to prepare them a nice cup of coffee as they were craving some. Sure, why not, it is really easy.
For three persons you need:
– three spoons full of Turkish coffee
– three spoons full of sugar (if you like it sweet)
– three small coffee cups of water
You pour it all into a cezve (the typical copper pot to prepare Turkish coffee) and mix it up. Then you turn the stove on and heat the liquid up until some bubbles start emerging on the surface. Do not stir the coffee, just wait. You take the bubbles with a spoon and place them into the coffee cups you want to serve. This will form a kind of sediment in the bottom of the cups which will later serve the purpose of coffee reading. Then you pour the liquid into the cups and that’s it. Your coffee is ready to be served. Place the cups on a saucer and add a little sweet (Turkish delight or chocolate) to the saucer to make it all look nicer.
I am proud every time my flat mates ask me to prepare Turkish coffee for our numerous guests since it proves they trust my abilities as a host. But this time, after having tried a sip of coffee, our guest ran to the bathroom and spit it all out. I was puzzled. “It is salty!”, she exclaimed. Oh no! I had indeed mixed up the sugar and the salt pots and prepared the most horrible brew.
The girls would not stop laughing, even though they were slightly disappointed since I had used up the last coffee in the house for those three cups. What made them laugh though was the fact that there is a common Turkish engagement tradition that requires girls to prepare a salty cup of coffee to their future husbands when they gather to meet the families. If the guy is serious about the marriage he has to drink the salty coffee as a sign of love.
Oh well, it is a story that will stick to me for a while as it is has been told to all guest that have come to our house ever since. And I now check twice before pouring in the sugar. Just to make sure.