Turkish coffee cups are known for their exquisite craftsmanship and beauty. Their marveloushandpainted designs make them a work of art to treasure. But there's a lot more than finely detailed designs that make Turkish coffee cups unique. The material and process of making these cups make them different from usual coffee cups or espresso shot glasses. They have unique characteristics that reflect the serving style and culture of drinking Turkish coffee.
History of Turkish Coffee Cups
Ottoman Sultans loved their coffee cups to be embellished with real gold. They even had a factory to craft these delicate coffee cups to suit their taste.
Back in the 19th century, the French preferred the "demitasse" or half cups, which were smaller than the standard size. The Ottomans were also fond of containers with metal frames made to hold a ceramic cup.
From the middle of the 19th century, bone China and porcelain became the standard materials to craft Turkish coffee cups to maintain the authenticity of the style of drinking. These tea cup gifts were then adorned with hand painted artistic designs to give them a royal outlook.
The Unique Way of Crafting Turkish Coffee Cups
The unique style of crafting Turkish coffee cups was invented to meet the demands of the coffee drinking culture of the land. These cups, known as 'fincans', serve the purpose of holding a small amount of strong coffee that stays hot for a long time.
Turkish coffee is enjoyed very slowly in small sips over a long period. There is no rush to finish the coffee. People take slow and relaxed sips of the strong coffee over long conversations. Therefore, it is necessary to keep the brew hot for as long as possible.
Turkish coffee cups are different from espresso cups because of the difference in making style. Turkish coffee generally has a higher temperature than espresso since the water is heated almost to boiling level. Also, since people drink espresso quickly in one shot, the cups cannot keep Turkish coffee hot over long conversations and slow sips.
What Are Turkish Coffee Cups Made of?
Turkish coffee cups are made of thin porcelain to keep the coffee warm for a long time. Some cups also come with a copper holder. The porcelain heats the copper to maintain the ideal temperature to keep the brew hot.
It is a prerequisite to maintain the correct amount of thickness of the porcelain material to meet the delicate demands. Only the right thickness of porcelain can hold a steady and high temperature of the coffee for a long time.
Ways Of Making Turkish Coffee Cups
While maintaining the special small size and the thin porcelain material of Turkish coffee cups, there were two popular ways of making them.
- The first variety was the 'no handle' cups called Mirra.
- The second variety was the small and thin coffee cups with handles and a saucer or holder.
- The third popular variety was an ornate metal holder large enough to hold a porcelain cup inside. This metal container called 'zarf' kept the coffee warmer and protected the drinker's fingers.