Fresh Cup Magazine published my feature “Refining Istanbul’s Coffee” today. The story looks inside Kronotrop’s roastery, a coalition between Kronotrop founder Çağatay Gülabioğlu and renowned chef Mehmet Gürs. A lot of exciting things are happening in the Turkish coffee scene right now, not least what Çağatay and company have in the works. Read the feature here and look out for a longer, in depth article soon.
It’s a quiet morning in Istanbul’s Cihangir neighborhood, and Serkan Ipekli is tired. The 2013 Turkish Barista Champion is fighting an ear infection, but he’s also experiencing the grueling pace of running what amounts to be a 24/7 business: Geyik Coffee Roastery & Cocktail Bar. Geyik, which means “deer” in Turkish, only opened five months ago, but it’s already been a wild ride….
In the past two years the specialty coffee scene in Istanbul has exploded. We covered one of the first quality focused cafes that opened in Turkey’s largest city, and we’re beyond excited about all of the new cafes we’re going to visit in August when we’re back in the country for two weeks. One of those cafes is Cup of Joy in Istanbul’s posh Bebek neighborhood. I’m not ashamed to admit when I lived in Istanbul, I frequented Bebek’s Starbucks. I may not be a fan of dark, stale espresso, but I’m a big fan of drinking coffee next to the deep blue water of the Bosphorus, and Bebek has some of my favorite Bosphorus views.
Cup of Joy may be a new shop, but they’ve already produced a Turkish barista champion. After watching this video from Nople Productions, it’s easy to understand why. Be prepared for some level tamping, pretty latte art, and smooth jazz. And what would a Turkish coffee shop be without some simit?
Brief History of Turkish Coffee
If you had a cup of coffee this morning, you can thank the Turks. Coffee came to the West through Turkey as the Ottoman Empire expanded into the European continent. According to one legend, the first coffee house in Austria was opened with the coffee abandoned by the Ottoman army when they were repelled at the Battle of Vienna.
Fast forward several centuries later and …