TRADITIONAL TURKISH DRINKS

TURKISH COFFEE

Coffee has played an important role in Turkish culture from the Ottoman period through the present. The serving and consumption of coffee has had a profound effect on political and social interaction, gender customs, and hospitality customs throughout the centuries. Although many of the rituals perished in time coffee has remained an integral part of Turkish culture.

Coffee is brought to Istanbul in 1555 by two Syrian traders. It was known as " the milk of chess players and thinkers." By the mid-17th century, Turkish coffee became a part of elaborate ceremonies involving the Ottoman court. Coffee makers known as "kahveci usta", with the help of over forty assistants, ceremoniously prepared and served coffee for the sultan. Betrothal customs and gender roles also became defined through coffee rituals. In the Ottoman period, women received intensive training in the harem on the proper techniques of preparing Turkish coffee. Perspective husbands would judge a woman's merits based on the taste of the coffee she made.

Coffee has been at the center of political and social interaction for both men and women in the Ottoman period. Women socialized with each other over coffee and sweets. Men socialized in coffee houses where they were discussing politics and playing backgammon. Coffee houses played host to a new form of satirical political and social criticism called shadow theater in which puppets were the main characters in the early 16th century. Over the years, Turkish coffee houses have become social institutions where people come together and talk.

Turkish coffee is made of finely pulverized roasted coffee beans in special coffee pots called "cezve". Roasting degree and duration differ according to taste. Coffee is sold either green, or roasted beans or in pulverized form. In old houses a brass-made hand manupulated coffee mill would be used to pulverize coffee beans. An electrical coffee mill is used instead of brass-coffee mill at present time in many households. Turkish coffee is prepared in 4 ways:

"Az Sekerli" means coffee has little sugar (about 1/2 teaspoon)

"Orta Sekerli" means coffee has standart amount of sugar (1 teaspoon)

"Çok Sekerli" means coffee has more sugar than enough which is 1 1/2 teaspoons.

"Sade Kahve" means black coffee, without sugar.

Turkish coffee is served in special Turkish coffee cups made of porcelain. These cups are smaller in size than ordinary coffee cups. An average Turkish coffee cup is equal to 1/4 cup in volume. Coffee is served with bon-bon, candy bar or with " Lokum " (Turkish Delight) or with chocolate bars. It is served usually during midday or following a lunch or dinner. There is an old saying about coffee:" Bir kahve fincanin kirk yil hatiri vardir ". This saying means that if one has offered a cup of coffee to you you are obliged for forty years to the one who offered the coffee. It means that the person who offers the coffee is to be respected, honoured, and remembered for a long time for the sake of his coffee offering.

Are humans indeed free agents or just Shakespeare’s players acting out our scenes?The answer may lie in the bottom of your cup.

Personal experience implies there is not a reading without a long journey, some kind of financial dealing (for better or worse) and a metaphorical mountain involved somewhere, but for most foreigners in Istanbul certainly the journey, and in all likelihood the other two, do indeed lie ahead. Just once in a long while, though, you may find someone whose ability to infer the future from the remnants of your drink is distinctly uncanny.

The theory is simple. Once you reach the sediment the cup is turned upside down in its saucer, and, optionally, the bottom is touched for luck. When it cools, the grinds, in sliding down the inside of the cup, will have arranged themselves into various readable signals which forewarn of future events. The practice, however, (much) more often than not, simply covers for probing questions and gossip. I see something going on with your X (brother/lover/work/etc.)...

What would that be?” And as such it serves a useful purpose -boundaries are temporarily lifted and the important issues that didn’t make up the conversation over the coffee can be examined. Anyone who has been jolted by a stranger reading their cup with an unlikely amount of accuracy would probably be better off consulting a statistician or a psychoanalyst for an explanation, but here, for your amusemet and clairvoyance, are just some of the signals that could justify that X you’ve been promising yourself.

AYRAN

Is a drink made of yoghurt and water, popular in Turkey. Ayran is a mixture of yoghurt, water, and salt. It is thought to have originated as a way of preserving yogurt by adding salt.

It can also be made with cucumber juice in place of some or all of the water, or flavored with garlic. Sometimes it is also seasoned with black pepper: this is uncommon in Bulgaria, where Ayran is also often served without salt. Another recipe popular in some regions includes finely chopped mint leaves mixed into the Ayran.

Ayran is so popular in Turkey that it is often regarded as a market separate to that for the juice and soda industries. It is a challenge for "modern" soft-drink companies such as Coca-Cola. International fast-food companies such as McDonald's include Ayran in their standard menu as a local menu addition. In Azerbaijan, Syria, and Lebanon, it is available in all restaurants and fast-food shops. In other countries, it may be found at döner kebab outlets. In the United States, it's available in Armenian, Turkish, Persian, and other Middle Eastern stores under the names Ayran or Tahn.

In rural areas of Turkey, Ayran is offered as a "standard" drink to welcome guests. Ayran is served cool, and is a common accompaniment to döner, kebab, banitsa, gözleme, or pastry. Some forms of fresh Ayran include foam.

TURKISH TEA

Turkey has over sixty years of tea production experience. Year after year, using this experience, the flavor of our tea has continued to be improved to satisfy tea drinkers.

We use a blend of proven cultivation methods along with the modern technologies and equipment in our processing so your Turkish tea experience will be a delight.

There are about 200 000 small tea growers in East Black Sea Region of Turkey. They pick green tea three flush in a year from May to October in hilly lands of east Black Sea.
Annual fresh tea production is about 800 000 tons.

Between 155 000-160 000 tons black tea are produced in Turkey annually. General Directorate of Tea Enterprises (Çaykur) has 46 tea processing factories and produces 65% of total production. Private sector have a lot of small tea processing factories and produces 35% of Turkish tea.

 

TURKISH RAKI

Is a usually anise-flavored apéritif that is produced by twice distilling either only suma or suma that has been mixed with ethyl alcohol in traditional copper alembics of 5000 lt (1320 US gallon, 1100 UK gallon) volume or less with aniseed. It is similar to several kinds of alcoholic beverages available in the Mediterranean and parts of the Balkans, including pastis, sambuca and ouzo. The general consensus is that all these liqueurs preceded arak, a similar arabic liqueur, but it remains a theory. In the Balkans, however, raki refers to a drink made from distilled pomace, similar to Italian grappa, Bulgarian rakia, Greek tsikoudia, Cypriot zivania and Spanish orujo.

In Turkey, raki is the unofficial 'national drink' and it is traditionally drunk mixed with water; the dilution causes this alcoholic drink to turn a milky-white colour, and possibly because of its colour, this mixture is popularly called aslan sütü or arslan sütü, both literally meaning "lion's milk" (aslan and arslan also mean strong, brave man, hence milk for the brave men).

SHERBET (Şerbet)

Sherbet (Soda powder; Etymology: Turkish & Persian; Turkish şerbet, from Persian & Urdu/Hindi sharbat, from Arabic sharba drink) (British and American English) or Sherbert (Australian English and New Zealand English, also a variant used in American English) historically was a cool effervescent or iced fruit soft drink. The meaning, spelling and pronunciation has fractured between three English-speaking countries. It is usually spelled either sherbet or sherbert. In the US, the most common meaning of sherbet is a frozen dessert sorbet or a special kind of ice cream: see sherbet (U.S.).

Sherbet in the United Kingdom is a kind of fizzy powder made from bicarbonate of soda, tartaric acid, sugar etc and usually cream soda or fruit flavoured. The acid-carbonate reaction occurs upon presence of moisture (juice/saliva). It used to be stirred into various beverages to make effervescing drinks, in a similar way to making lemonade from lemonade powders. Today, people usually buy carbonated drinks rather than making them at home.

Sherbet is now used to mean this powder sold as a sweet. In the United States, it would be somewhat comparable to the powder in Pixy Stix or Lik-M-Aid/Fun Dip, though having the fizzy quality of Pop Rocks effervescing candy.

BOZA

Is popular fermented beverage in turkey it is made from fermented wheat in turkey.it has a thick consistency and a low alcohol content usually around %1 and has a sightly acidic sweet flavor.

In the Republic of Macedonia boza is much thinner and lighter, and tastes sweeter.

In Turkey it is served with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas, and is consumed mainly in the winter months. The Ottoman Empire was known to feed its army with boza as it is rich in carbohydrates and vitamins.

In Bulgaria it is part of the traditional "Banitsa with Boza" breakfast.

In Albania it is mostly produced and sold in the northern part of Albania; you can easily find it in the candy and ice-creams stores of the capital, Tirana. In southern Serbia, boza is produced and sold in the whole country.

The variant found in Romania is called bragă, and it is sweeter than in Turkey and Bulgaria, but thicker and darker than in Republic of Macedonia.

SAHLEP

Is a flour made from grinding the dried tubers of various species of orchid, which contain a nutritious starch-like polysaccharide called bassorin.

Salep is also the name of a beverage made from salep flour, whose popularity spread beyond Turkey and the Middle East to England and Germany before the rise of coffee and tea. In England, the drink was known as "saloop".

The beverage salep is sometimes referred to as Turkish Delight, though that name is more commonly used for lokum. Other desserts are also made from salep flour, including salep pudding and salep ice cream. The Kahramanmaraş region of Turkey is a major producer of salep known as Salepi Maraş.

TURNIP WATER (Şalgam Suyu)

Is a popular beverage of southern Turkey, originating from Adana. Although its Turkish name şalgam suyu (or shortened, şalgam) does literally mean "turnip juice", it is, in fact, the juice of purple carrot pickles, heavily salted, spiced and flavoured with aromatic turnip (çelem) and fermented in barrels. It is traditionally served cold in large glasses with long slices of pickled carrots, called tane. Hot paprika relish is added just before drinking. Hot or regular, it's a popular drink with Adana Kebab.

Şalgam is often served with raki (alcoholic beverage)—not mixed, but rather in a separate glass. Şalgam is commonly believed to cure hangovers, however excess şalgam drinking is a reason for large amounts of intestinal gas.