STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 3, Number 2

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46 STiR tea & coffee industry international W hether called by its Arabic name (cezve) or a Greek briki, brewing Turkish coffee in the ancient ibrik is very much alive. The volume of coffee brewed this way is greatly underestimated. Statis- tics are not a virtue in the countries where Turkish coffee is consumed but worldwide there are as many cups brewed in a cezve as by espresso machines. A short history Coffee and Islam and the Ottoman/Turkish Empire are closely linked in history. Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia. Its use as a food and beverage dates back many thousands of years. Ethiopia is 4,000 miles from Istanbul but the fertile land and mountains of south Arabia are just across the Red Sea. It was here, in modern Ye- men, that coffee was first brewed in the Sufi Monasteries beginning in the 1300's. The people of Southern Arabia commercialized coffee with systematic growing, roasting, grinding and brewing similar to what is seen today. Coffee was first brewed in small open pots. The handle and spout followed. The word ibrik is Persian and means "water cup." In Turkey ibrik refers to a long necked container for pouring water into the cezve. Water and crushed coffee beans were added to these simple cups and the brew was stirred, heated and poured into small cups. Yemen remains the homeland of some of the world's finest coffees and is likely the origin of the cezve. These little brewers were cheap and easy to make. One had only to locate a small heat source and soon the pleasant aroma and tempting taste would lead others to the source. Enjoying hot cof- fee soon spread across the region. During this period Islam became the dominate religion and its ban on alcohol made quahva (wine from the bean) the alternative. Coffee houses spread from Yemen to Mecca and Medina. Drinking coffee became a household ("tent hold") habit, an af- fordable luxury and a socially recognised custom for treating guests, family and friends with pride. Coffee was both a domestic and public social glue, as it is today. Ibrik More than a tradition Modern gas fired sand bed burner Photo © mike tsolis Photo © mike tsolis By Alf Kramer

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