Istanbul was introduced to coffee in 1543 by Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen, who had grown to love the drink while stationed in that country.
Prepared in a cezve or “güğüm” (copper vessel) using the technique invented by the Turks, the drink became known as Turkish Coffee.
The Turkish public became acquainted with coffee through the establishment of coffeehouses; the first coffeehouse opened in the district of Tahtakale
in 1554 and others rapidly cropped up all over the city. Coffeehouses and coffee culture soon became an integral part of Istanbul social culture; people came here throughout the day to read books and beautiful texts, play chess and backgammon and discuss poetry and literature.
As coffee became a staple in palace cuisine as well as in private homes, its consumption increased dramatically. The raw beans were roasted in pans and then ground in mortars. The coffee was then brewed in cezves and served with great care to esteemed friends.
Thanks to the efforts of merchants and travellers who passed through Istanbul, and even Ottoman ambassadors, Turkish Coffees renown soon spread to Europe and ultimately to the whole world.