HomeFoodContained in the Centuries-Outdated Artwork of Turkish Espresso Fortune-Telling

Contained in the Centuries-Outdated Artwork of Turkish Espresso Fortune-Telling


There’s one thing concerning the aroma of espresso that’s undeniably alluring.

For me, it’s the acquainted scent of Greek espresso that brings me again to my childhood. Rising up in a Greek family, the sight of my mother’s stainless-steel briki, a small, long-handled pot, on the stovetop beside two demitasse cups and a bag of Loumidis floor espresso on Saturday morning is a comforting reminiscence.

As a youngster, I began to understand the style of this robust, gritty-yet-flavorful espresso. I discovered the right way to make it by watching my mother and my uncle, the 2 finest Greek espresso makers in my household. Finally, I developed my very own technique, and it’s grow to be a ritual I’ve carried with me into maturity. The method consists of slowly brewing water and finely floor espresso within the briki, or a cezve copper pot, till the combination boils for a number of minutes and kinds a foamy layer on prime. My mother would scoop the froth from the highest, inserting it within the small cup earlier than pouring the unfiltered espresso immediately over it. My uncle, in the meantime, would pour the complete combination from the briki straight into the cup. Every of their brewing strategies had been barely completely different, however each resulted in a superbly robust cup with a layer of froth on prime.

No matter the way it’s made, this espresso is served alongside a cup of water as a palate cleanser and, every now and then, Turkish delights. Not fairly as acidic as espresso, it has a clean, robust, and barely smoky style and is served unfiltered, which implies that the grounds stay within the button of the cup after the drink is completed.

This fashion of espresso—made with finely floor arabica espresso beans, brewed over a flame in a small copper pot, and served in small parts—may be traced again to the sixteenth century close to present-day Turkey. Right this moment, it’s also known as Turkish espresso, although it’s discovered throughout the area in international locations like Armenia, Greece, and Bosnia, and the identify adjustments relying on who’s making it or the model of espresso you’re utilizing. As a result of my household likes to make use of a Greek model, we all know it as Greek espresso.

For me, the expertise of ingesting Greek or Turkish espresso is not only concerning the style or aroma, however the tales which can be woven into every cup. Rising up, after a meal at grandmother’s home, my uncle would take the briki from the cupboard and brew us espresso. We might sit across the desk for hours, sipping and sharing tales—however the conversations didn’t finish when the espresso ran out. Typically, my aunt would instruct us to flip our cups over and let the grounds settle. Distinctive patterns would start to type within the espresso grounds all throughout and down the perimeters of the cup. Then, we’d take turns displaying my aunt our cups, as she tried to learn our fortunes.

My aunt would possibly see the grounds take the form of hills or traces resembling a street, an indication that I ought to journey, or maybe take a street journey. For my siblings and I, this custom was a possibility to look towards the longer term with positivity. As I grew older, I found that the follow of studying espresso cups has been a part of Turkish tradition for hundreds of years.

Gizem Şalcıgil White, founder and CEO of Turkish Espresso Woman, a connoisseur espresso store in Alexandria, VA, has been a goodwill ambassador for Turkish espresso tradition since 2009. She’s been selling the custom first by way of a non-profit touring espresso cart that she took across the U.S. and overseas for 13 years, and now, by way of her store, the place she gives espresso cup readings carried out by an expert Turkish espresso reader.

In response to White, these espresso readings are a centuries-old custom and a big a part of Turkish espresso tradition that dates again to the 1500s. “Turkish espresso is among the oldest recognized strategies for brewing espresso, and in Turkey, espresso is not only a beverage however a life-style,” says White. “The beverage is shared with others, and may be adopted by fortune readings, which started through the Ottoman period.”

First showing within the Ottoman palaces as a communication instrument, palace wives would use the espresso grounds as an entertaining approach to share tales and gossip with each other. A type of tasseography, the custom shares roots with related fortune-telling practices, like studying tea leaves or sediment from wine.

Trendy-day cup readings, carried out by members of the family or professionals, are nonetheless practiced at social gatherings in a lot the identical means. It’s a customized, says White, for people to make a want earlier than the studying, flip their cups over, place them on a plate, and let the grounds settle. Although interpretations range from reader to reader, in keeping with White, the best facet of the espresso cup represents the happenings of 1’s interior life, whereas the left facet represents their future.

As soon as they settle, all kinds of shapes, traces, and figures seem within the grounds, every with a special which means. Seeing the form of a camel, for instance, could symbolize an extended journey forward, whereas the looks of a crescent form means that excellent news is on its means. Seeing birds could symbolize good luck, whereas the form of an egg connotes wealth and success.

For White, the artwork of brewing Turkish espresso and performing a studying is a approach to acquire perception into one’s future, join with family members, and even search steerage. In my very own life, the act of creating and ingesting espresso is greater than a morning behavior: It’s a approach to join with folks and my heritage. Once I make a cup of Greek or Turkish espresso, I’m reminded of the moments spent with household across the desk, laughing, and listening to tales.

Have you ever ever had your fortune learn in Turkish espresso grounds? Inform us about it beneath!




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