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  • Writer's pictureYunus Emre Institute

Turkish Coffee Happy Hour 8th Edition

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

For the last Turkish Coffee Happy Hour of 2019 the Yunus Emre Institute welcomed several guests to engage in culinary diplomacy. This monthly event has become a flagship program for the Yunus Emre Institute because of its continual success and consistent praise from guests. The program was created to give guests the opportunity to relax after a long work day with a cup of Turkish coffee while simultaneously learning about a centuries old tradition in the process. This remains a small event to foster close friendships between each guest, which has always been the original intention of Turkish coffee to bring people together in a friendly manner.

As the temperature starts dropping in D.C. there is only one drink that is perfectly suited to counter such an onslaught of cold and windy weather, that drink is coffee. Although, it was the story behind the coffee that captivated the guests in the Misafir Odası, or guest room. Turkish coffee is a traditional drink that dates back to the 16th century Ottoman empire so it is deeply rooted within Turkish culture. Harper and Matt, the Yunus Emre Institute’s Public Relations Assistants, elaborated on how this tradition began and the immense impact that it had on the heritage of Turkey and Turkish people. After being given some cultural context, the guests were guided to the Mutfak where a demonstration on how to brew coffee in a traditional cezve, or copper pot, was given. Guests took turns brewing their own coffee then finally tasted why this drink is so crucial to Turkish tradition. The Sohbet, or chat, is what cements the friendships of each guest who gathered together at the Yunus Emre Institute to learn and laugh. New friendships were celebrated during the Hediye, or gift, part of the program where each guest went home with a postcard and a polaroid picture of them enjoying a freshly brewed cup of Turkish coffee.

The guests collectively agreed that once they took the first sip of the coffee that they brewed from the cezve, they understood. They understood why this is a five hundred year tradition that has only increased in cultural importance since its creation. They discussed how engaging and personal the process of brewing one’s own coffee is by hand as opposed to waiting for a modern coffee machine to do so. They also discussed how interesting and unique the traditional sand machine, or kum makinası, was to brew coffee in with the cezve. There were a handful of guests that stayed behind in the Mutfak to have their fortunes told but only time will tell if the coffee grounds had any truth in them.

The Yunus Emre Foundation is a public foundation formed to promote Turkey, Turkish language, its history and culture and art, make such related information and documents available for use in the world, provide services abroad to people who want to have education in the fields of Turkish language, culture and art, to improve the friendship between Turkey and other countries and increase the cultural exchange. If you are interested in receiving more information, please email

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