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A cup of Turkish coffee, served from a copper cezve
|Country of origin||Turkey|
Turkish coffee is made by boiling very finely ground coffee beans with water and usually sugar, then serving the result into cups, where the grounds are left to settle. Sugar, if any, is added to the initial mixture, before boiling. The boiling is done carefully, so that as soon as the mixture begin to froth, and before it boils over, about one-third of the coffee is distributed to individual cups; the remaining amount is returned to the fire to froth a second time, then distributed to the cups.
When ordering a Turkish coffee, the amount of sugar is specified, from no sugar (Turkish sade 'plain'); with little sugar (az şekerli 'a little sugar'); with moderate sugar (orta şekerli 'medium sugared'; μέτριος 'moderate'); or heavily sugared (şekerli 'sugared' or tatlı 'sweet').
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish coffee is also called "Bosnian coffee" (Bosnian: bosanska kahva), which is made slightly differently from its Turkish counterpart. A deviation from the Turkish preparation is that when the water reaches its boiling point, a small amount is saved aside for later, usually in a coffee cup. Then, the coffee is added to the pot (džezva), and the remaining water in the cup is added to the pot. Everything is put back on the heat source to reach its boiling point again, which only takes a couple of seconds since the coffee is already very hot. Coffee drinking in Bosnia is a traditional daily custom and plays an important role during social gatherings.
A beverage called "turecká káva" or "turek" is also very popular in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, even if other forms of coffee preparation (such as espresso) have become widespread in the last few decades, decreasing the popularity of turek. Cafés usually do not serve turek any more, in contrast to pubs and kiosks, but turek is still often served in households. The Czech and Slovak form of Turkish coffee is different from Turkish coffee in Turkey, the Arab world or Balkan countries, since cezve is not used. It is in fact the simplest possible method to make coffee: ground coffee is poured with boiling or almost boiling water. The weight of coffee and the volume of water depend only on the taste of the consumer. In Lithuania, this method was the only method that people made coffee during last decades, however never called it Turkish coffee. The method is widely used in the households to this day. In recent years, genuine Turkish coffee made in a cezve (džezva in Czech) has also appeared, but Turkish coffee is still understood, in most cases, as described above.
In Greece, Turkish coffee was formerly referred to simply as 'Turkish'(τούρκικος). But political tensions with Turkey in the 1960s (Istanbul pogrom) led to the political euphemism 'Greek coffee'(ελληνικός καφές), which became even more popular after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974: "... Greek–Turkish relations at all levels became strained, "Turkish coffee" became "Greek coffee" by substitution of one Greek word for another while leaving the Arabic loan-word, for which there is no Greek equivalent, unchanged." There were even advertising campaigns promoting the name "Greek coffee" in the 1990's, which acknowledged the usage of "Turkish": "Thousands of Greeks follow the habit of calling their beloved coffee 'Turkish'."
As well as being an everyday beverage, Turkish coffee is also a part of the traditional Turkish wedding custom. As a prologue to marriage, the bridegroom's parents (in the lack of his father, his mother and an elderly member of his family) must visit the young girl's family to ask the hand of the bride-to-be and the blessings of her parents upon the upcoming marriage. During this meeting, the bride-to-be must prepare and serve Turkish coffee to the guests. For the groom's coffee, the bride-to-be sometimes uses salt instead of sugar to gauge his character. If the bridegroom drinks his coffee without any sign of displeasure, the bride-to-be assumes that the groom is good-tempered and patient. As the groom already comes as the demanding party to the girl's house, in fact it is the boy who is passing an exam and etiquette requires him to receive with all smiles this particular present from the girl, although in some parts of the country this may be considered as a lack of desire on the part of the girl for marriage with that candidate.
Superstition says the grounds left after drinking Turkish coffee can be used for fortune-telling. The cup is commonly turned over into the saucer to cool, and it is believed by some that the patterns of the coffee grounds can be used for a method of fortune telling known as tasseography (Turkish: kahve falı, Greek: καφεμαντεία, kafemanteia, Arabic: قراءة الفنجان, qira'at al-fenjaan, German: Kaffesatzlesen, Serbian: гледање у шољу / gledanje u šolju), or tasseomancy.
Their chauvinism may sometimes take you a little aback. Now that they are quarrelling with the Turks over Cyprus, Turkish coffee has been renamed Greek coffee; ...
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