For centuries now coffee has been an integral part of people’s day-to-day life. Be it for socialising, fueling us through our deadlines, or just getting those few precious moments of calm, there is nothing that can uplift your mood like a cup of coffee. Today, espresso is such an integral part of a café experience, but in most parts of South India and a major part of Turkey, the household brewing methods still have a major hold over people's brewing habits. Although cultural habits might be different, it represents years of history. Read on to know the similarities between South Indian and Turkish brewing methods and their origins...
The South Indian Filter Coffee Phenomenon
One of the first and foremost brewing methods in India was the South Indian filter coffee, kaapi or meter coffee brewing method and the ritual is still going strong to this day. Even to this day families brew their “coffee decoction” in the same containers called dabrah that have been in their families for generations.
Boiling milk is added over in the decoction along with a sweetener of choices like jaggery or sugar and is still immensely popular as an after breakfast beverage in many households. The beauty of this beverage is that you will never taste the same recipe in another house. Each family has its own recipes which have been passed on for generations. Over the years, commercialisation has helped spread the word and flavor of filter coffee across lands and made this a more accessible beverage.
The Turkish Coffee
The Turkish have a royal history when it comes to their own beloved beverage. It was an indicator of the importance given to a particular guest and to this day adds immense value to the cultural wealth of the country. Brewed in an ‘Ibrik’ the Turks brew their coffee on hot sand along with some water and sugar. A lot of people prefer adding some spices to enhance the fragrance of the coffee. Initially, brass coffee pots, called cezve were used but nowadays porcelain and steel are preferred for ease of use. The Turkish were the first once to introduce the coffee culture to the Italians and from there it got commercialized even more.
There are a lot of similarities between the Indian and Turkish when it comes to brewing their coffees, from having a particular type of brewing vessel to the coffee itself. Both are brewed with ground coffee beans, such that the end beverage is extremely flavourful, frothy in texture, and has more viscosity than other brewing methods. The origin of Indian coffee is based on folklore, which speaks about a Sufi Saint Baba Budan, who smuggled some coffee beans from the ports of Yemen, to plant it in India. Yemen, at that time, was under the Turkish regime and it was illegal to export coffee. The Turkish style of coffee, also known as Arabic, is also believed to have first originated in Yemen.
No matter what the origins of coffee might be, the fact remains that coffee has stood the test of time and has been an integral part of both cultures. With the deep and rich history around coffee in both countries and the sense of tradition and sentiment the beverage triggers, both Turkish coffee and Indian Kaapi remain the most popular brewing methods in both countries and also in many other countries around the world.
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