Despite that human beings were separated by the Tower of Babel, a few things in my opinion are in general quite universal – smile (or flirtation), basic social manners and coffee (or tea). I am aware that the young generation are trying very hard to avoid being like a sexist, which probably is the biggest social mistake our last generation have made due to ignorance and misunderstanding, I have to say I still think human beings are mostly motivated by their intrinsic desires, some like those of wild animals or “7 characteristics of living things” taught in junior school Biology lessons, when it comes to human nature. We smile (or flirt) because we want sex and reproduction to sustain our species (and bloodline); we act “properly” when socializing because we want to make friends and not to live alone; we then make coffee or tea and offer them to others because, well, we acknowledge that we are humans but only animals so we want our psychological needs to be satisfied. In Chinese culture, we always offer the best tea we have to guests, and couples need to kneel and give tea to the parents before they can officially get married. In Italy, it’s coffee; In Finland, it’s Vodka; In France, it’s la baguette… but you get what I mean.
I was fortunate enough to meet this sweet Turkish girl Betül in Sheffield (D2, to be exact :D) and it was too nice of her to make us a cup of Turkish coffee. The whole process was definitely a ceremony or a ritual, and so even I am not an expert (she is), I still want to record what I have seen and show off this inspiring experience.
She started off by putting coffee from a brand called Kahveci Kardesler and sugar into a tiny pot called Cezve. She said there are many types of pots but she was using the best one. So it is technically called “Bakir Cezve”. Then she heated the pot with low fire (not exactly fire because we have only got electrical stoves) and explained that one must wait for the bubbles. When the coffee boils, she spooned out the bubbles and place them into the coffee cups “Kahve Fincani”. Then she kept boiling the coffee and did the bubbles for the second time. After that, she poured the coffee evenly into the two cups. And it was ready.
The Bakir Cezve
She also told me that when one drinks, one eats the Turkish delights “Lokum” with the coffee. Also one must not drink to the bottom of the cup. Then she covered the cup with the plate, turned the whole thing upside down, shaked it anti-clockwise a few times, and told me some people are capable of reading your future fortune from the residues. And if the whole thing was shaked clockwise, people can only read your past, which I guess is useless?
I was never an expert or a critique in coffee tasting, so I guess I really couldn’t say anything about the taste/ layer/ texture… of it. One thing I did though, was trying to let all parts of my tongue taste the coffee. I do this whenever I am drinking something special, like specially brewed coffee or tea or wine. I would say the aroma wasn’t too long-lasting, but was definitely strong and bold. It went well with the lokums (obviously, otherwise the Turkish people wouldn’t have them together for such a long period of time), and drinking kahve is definitely a national activity – who would drink coffee not only in the morning, but also at night, even before their sleep?!
Before I started enjoying this exotic midnight snack, I sensed a strong Asian motivation to take a photo (photos) of this precious experience. To be honest, I was not close with Bet before at all. We have only met once and she soon left the place so we really didn’t get to talk much. Despite that she said she made the coffee so she can forget about her Politics readings (I probably should do the same and make a pot of U Loong tea…), she was genuinely friendly and was paying effort into friends making even she doesn’t speak the best English in the country. She knows her culture well and she is proud of it. It was also very thoughtful of her to have brought the special apparatus knowing that they could only be used for this activity. All I cared when I pack was the weight because I am probably throwing quite a lot of stuff away when I finish my exchange study and backpacking… Anyways, it was definitely a memorable night and I was truly impressed. I know I have said this before, but
“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
I guess I am probably dead now.