Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sipping Turkish Coffee The Izmir Way - They Do Things Differently Here




We'll go into more detail about the Kemeraltı area of Izmir in a later post, but if you've ever been to Istanbul, it's easy to compare the streets around Kemeraltı to a more compact version of the surrounding alleyways of Kapalı Çarşısı (the Grand Bazaar). Perfect for aimless wanderings. Not so perfect when you're on a mission to find something in particular...and the first time we visited Kemeraltı, we were on a mission to find something in particular.

We'd been told that Turkish coffee is served around here. That's obviously nothing unusual, being that we're in Turkey and all, but around Kemeraltı, they prepare a special type of Turkish coffee: Fincanda Pişen Türk Kahvesi. We've written in the past about how to make Turkish coffee using a cezve to boil the coffee. But Izmir is different. Fincanda Pişen Türk Kahvesi means 'Turkish coffee boiled in the cup' - and we were told it was a must-try.

Turkish Coffee, Kemeraltı, Izmir
Turkish coffee in Kemeraltı, Izmir
After much zig-zagging through a maze of crowded streets and, on one occasion, actually ending up back where we started, we finally stumbled across the welcome sight of Ömer Usta Kahveci - a place serving the Turkish coffee prepared, heated and served in the cup. We were thirsty, a tad disorientated and grateful for the sit down. 

The waiter came over and it was then that I committed a sacrilegious act. I ordered a can of Diet Coke in the emporium of a master of the preparation of Turkish coffee. I was thirsty. Barry dutifully ordered his Turkish coffee - medium sweetness (orta) and in a medium-sized cup - and we awaited its arrival expectantly. The cup, coffee inside, is placed over the coals and heated, so when it arrived it was hot! 

Izmir Turkish Coffee & Lokum
Perfect combination - Turkish coffee and lokum
So, is the fincanda pişen Türk kahvesi any different to a normal Turkish coffee? Well, Barry's verdict is it's the best he's ever had. On sight, the coffee looked thick - almost like a rich chocolate mousse - but when you took a sip (after the cup had cooled a little) the coffee was smooth and sweet. 

Not being a big lover of Turkish coffee, I had to agree with Barry. It was very drinkable and the side-serving of Turkish Delight complimented the coffee perfectly. As for the medium-sized cup, there was also a large one on offer as well as small. We'll opt for small next time - Barry was pretty wired for a couple of hours afterwards as we continued our explorations of Kemeraltı. We can only imagine the effects of a large one...


Are you a fan of Turkish coffee? Have you ever tried this Izmir version?


13 comments:

this is so interesting. i would love to try one. i am sure i can't find it here though!

@ Jaz: Think the İzmir Turkish coffee may well be special to this region. Normal Turkish coffee is worth trying though.:)

Yes, this is very interesting indeed. I have never heard of it and will certainly ask for it next time I am in the area. But, like you, I am not a special fan of Turkish coffee!!

That's a new one to me - will give it a try next time we're in Izmir.

That sounds absolutely fantastic! :-) I'm a big fan of Turkish coffee, and can't wait to try this version one day. :-) You crack me up ordering Coke there. A friend of mine did that in Italy and the proprietor was so horrified he offered her free wine if only she wouldn't drink that "American rubbish". :-)

@ BacktoBodrum: You'll have to let us know if you can taste the difference between the two methods. :)

@ Claudia: I found it very drinkable in Izmir so definitely give it a try next time you're there. :)

@ Rambling Tart: I did feel guilty ordering a fizzy drink but I wasn't as lucky as your friend - no offer of a free Turkish coffee for me. ;)

Julia, that really is the best Turkish coffee experience you can have. My grandmother used to have this way, cooking Turkish coffee over coal, very slowly. Didn't know they did this way in Izmir too, good for them :)

@ Ozlem's Turkish Table: Wow, didn't realise it was so special to have Turkish coffee in this way. Friends told us about it and the taste definitely is different. You'll have to hunt it down next time you're in İzmir. :)

Been there and done it more than once... Totally in a class of its own and the coffee is the sweetest softest ever to be tasted. I drink it, prepare myself in cezve in uk but İzmir coffee is the best ever. Currently run out..Dibek I think it was?. do wish had a magic supplier- nothing else comes close. Afiyet olsun

@ Anonymous: Perfect description - sweet and soft. We saw lots of places selling Turkish coffee too. We should have bought some. Took some photos in Kemeralti so İ'll look up the name. :)

Is diet coke a new euphemism for Effes?

@ Agentlabroad: This is one occasion where I really did have a Diet Coke. :)

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