Monday, 24 October 2011

Turkish Coffee - Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi




The Turks are very proud of their coffee and describe Turkish coffee as their gift to the world. Ask anyone in Turkey what the most famous brand of Turkish coffee is and, without hesitation, the reply will be Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

These days, under the ownership of Mehmet Efendi's grandchildren, Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi is an internationally recognised brand, stocking supermarket shelves with filter coffees and espresso as well as their Turkish coffee. But it's not the supermarkets we're interested in. Whenever we visit anywhere in Turkey, we like to bring back souvenirs, and for us, that's usually food or drink of some description. When we were in Istanbul recently, we set off in search of a famous coffee souvenir.

Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee
Loose Turkish coffee about to be sealed
Tucked away on its original site at the back of the Egyptian Spice Bazaar in Istanbul is the historic Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi shop which still serves loose coffee to a never-ending daily queue of customers.
Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi In Istanbul
The serving hatch of Istanbul's Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi
The coffee is served through a hatch and, at first, we were put off by the long, outdoor queue. The weather in Istanbul was cold and wet and we didn't much fancy hanging around too long for a packet of Turkish coffee; famous or not. 
Fresh Turkish Coffee In Istanbul
Packs of warm, freshly ground Turkish coffee waiting to be served to customers
However, we only had to watch for a few seconds - enjoying the warm coffee aromas wafting through the air - to realise this was a professional outfit. Obviously, they've been doing this for some time! Resembling a small factory line, loose coffee is scooped, weighed, packed, taped, piled, served, money taken, change given, next please. No time for small talk here. All of this happens in a matter of seconds so we decided to join the long queue of coffee appreciators. 
Fresh Turkish Coffee In Istanbul
A 54g pack of Turkish coffee being weighed 
Within minutes, Barry had his 54g pack of loose Turkish coffee. Yes, Barry. Not me. Despite loving the smell of freshly-ground, still-warm coffee beans, I am yet to acquire the taste of Turkish coffee! Practise continues...but alas, little progress is being made. We did purchase some other Istanbul foodie souvenir goodies that I'll benefit from too, but we'll tell you about those another time.

The next step is to learn how to make Turkish Coffee!

Do you buy souvenirs to remind you of your visits to other places? Have you tried Turkish coffee and if so, do you like it?


19 comments:

Love Turkish and Greek coffee. You can get a light or dark roast...the dark roast has more flavour but less caffeine. Keep on sippin'. ;)

Mmmm I can almost smell the Spice Bazar, where we normally stock up on helva and köfta spice mix, but the real Turkish coffee would be a great alternative.
Mette

@ Peter M: Hmm, now would I want a coffee with more flavour or is it the favour I don't like? (I'm no coffee expert, as you can see.) I'll keep sippin' as I don't like to be defeated when it comes to food and drink. :)

@ Italian Notes: Helva is another food I can;t quite get used too. Love spice markets though. We walked through the Egyptian Spice Bazaar to get to the coffee shop. Lovely.

Funny you write about this coffee place well known to coffee lovers. For your info, I have found at Carrefour in Fethiye, some Colombian filter coffee freshly ground and also expresso ground coffee from them, a 250g package each, and it is absolutely delicious. You want to know the price? Tomorrow ill be there and will follow up.
Suzanne

@ Suzanne: Glad you like their other coffees too. I'll send Barry to make a purchase as I can just about drink a filter coffee.

Sadly, most restaurants in Bodrum haven't got a clue how to make good Turkish coffee. Our neighbour, on the other hand, makes a delicious brew and has taught Liam how to do it. He's still practising!

@ Jack: There are a few places here that do a decent one - so I'm told. :) I'm sure Liam will get there eventually. ;)

I'm with you, Julia. I can't say I am a big fan of Turkish coffee but the smell is tantalizing, especially where you were, by the spice market!!

@ Claudia: I think there a few of us in this world who can't quite get with the taste. We'll stick to taking in the aromas. :)

Oooh, one of my kids brought back a packet of Turkish coffee for me from her travels and I must say I loved the aroma ... but then I love the aroma of any coffee :D I doubt I have been brewing it the correct way since I've seen how they do it in a tiny brass coffee pot and boiled over heat.

@ ping: Yes, there's a knack to a good Turkish coffee. Even some of our generation of Turkish friends admit to not being able to make a good one. Maybe times are changing.

Mehmet Efendi is my favorite coffee too... (^_^)

@ Muza-chan: Glad you like it. Barry's noticed the difference between the fresh stuff and the pre-packed coffee in the supermarkets.

Yum! I love Turkish coffee, but I'd always drunk it the way my grandmother prepared it, orta sekerli. Recently I broke from tradition, tried it without sugar, and discovered how much better that tastes!

@ Deniz Bevan: Ha ha, glad you found a new way to drink it. I need to keep experimenting. Barry's an orta şekerli person.

The smell alone would be incredible! I like Turkish coffee, even the much stronger Lebanese coffee, especially if it has cardamom in it.

@ Corinne: The smell is incredible - it's the taste I have the issue with. Wow, Lebanese coffee is stronger than Turkish coffee?? Might give that one a miss. :)

Hi,

I like Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee very very much. No sugar for me! It's much tastier that way. I live in the US and I get my mehmet Efendi from tulumba.com. They deserve a shout out, too!

@ Foodie: Thank you for your comment. We used to link to Tulumba but tat the the the, most of our readers were based in the UK and everything had to be shipped. Now we're reaching more of a US audience, we'll bear that in mind. :)

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