A true story of friendship after a cup of Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is known for its strong coffee flavor and superb rich aroma. It has such a unique taste that is “remembered for forty years”. Turkish coffee leads people to pleasant conversations and provides long-lasting friendship ties between them. There is a historical story about such a friendship.
The story goes back to the early 1800s. The time that coffee and coffeehouses were so popular in Istanbul. There were more than 2500 coffeehouses in Istanbul.
The story has started at a coffeehouse in Uskudar where is located on the Asian-side of Istanbul along the Bosphorus Sea.
Coffee houses were socialization and meeting areas during these years. People from different social groups and cultural levels were attending to the coffeehouses to drink coffee and have a Chat.
One day a janissary, Ottoman infantry soldier, comes to this coffeehouse, as many others come every day. He asks the coffee maker to serve a free coffee to everyone but not to the Greek captain who was sitting there alone.
The coffee maker serves coffee to everyone. Then, he prepares two more cups of coffee, one for himself and one for the Greek captain. Then, sits at the table of the captain. When the Janissary sees them drinking coffee and chatting, shouts angrily, “Didn’t I tell you not to serve him?” The coffee maker responds, “This is my treat, not yours” and continues to drink his coffee and chat with the captain. Then, they had a long conversation accompanied by the coffee.
“A cup of Turkish coffee is remembered for 40 years.” is written in the Ottoman language on the cup. The original cups were produced in the 19th century as a remembrance of the historical friendship story (on the left).
The same cups are replicated in 2015 by the Istanbul Municipality (on the right).
40 years of friendship
After a long while after this incident, there was a rebel in the Greek island Samos. The coffee maker was also invited to join the army to fight against rebels there.
During the rebellion, the Greeks captured him and prisoned. In these years, the Greeks were selling their captives in the slave market to raise funds and compensate for the war expenses.
Like all other prisoners, the coffee maker was also sold in the slave market. An old man who was armed from tip to toe bought the coffee maker with a comparably high price. Then, the old man took him to a lonely place. The coffee maker was quite scared. He thought that this man would kill him after long and harsh tortures.
Then, the armed man says “Don’t be afraid! You don’t know me, but I know you.” The coffee maker gets surprised and asks “What?” The armed man continues “Do you remember? When a janissary insulted a Greek captain in your coffeehouse, you didn’t listen to him and offered the captain a cup of coffee?” “I am the captain that you served coffee 40 years ago.”
Then, the coffee maker looks at him carefully and remembers.
Indeed, the captain did not forget the coffee service 40 years ago.
After drinking coffee together with long conversations, the captain releases him. The coffee maker comes back to Istanbul and continues to prepare his delicious coffee that is remembered for 40 years.