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Businessman wants to give Turkish coffee the place it deserves

A woman drinks a coffee during the Istanbul Coffee Festival (ICF) at Kucukciftlik Park in Istanbul, Turkey on September 20, 2018 [Veli Gürgah/Anadolu Agency]
A worker pours coffee during the Istanbul Coffee Festival (ICF) at Kucukciftlik Park in Istanbul, Turkey on 20 September 2018 [Veli Gürgah/Anadolu Agency]

Just as there is World Coffee Day on 1 October, Turkey wants to turn 5 December into "World Turkish Coffee Day" by giving everyone at New York's Times Square a taste of the traditional beverage, said a Turkish businessperson, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Murat Kolbasi, Chairman of Arzum Electrical Home Appliances, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association, told Anadolu Agency that coffee bean companies recognise Turkish coffee.

Kolbasi said coffee beans can only be grown in hot countries on the equator, but 80 per cent of this business is worldwide. He explained that countries such as Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and the US are doing the processing, selling and serving of coffee.

Noting that they are working on making 5 December World Turkish Coffee Day, he said Turkish coffee deserves a special day just like World Coffee Day on 1 October.

"We would like to enable Turkish coffee to be tasted in Times Square by everyone who is in New York on 5 December. We did it on a different date previously, but now 5 December is very important for us. This project developed this year. We are very firmly prepared," he said.

'Order Turkish coffee at cafes, restaurants abroad'

"I ask every Turkish citizen who goes abroad: even if you don't see Turkish coffee on the menu in a cafe or restaurant, ask for it. Turkish coffee will come to that menu, somehow.

"This is a national consciousness. In order for us to do this, we must persistently ask for Turkish coffee abroad," said Kolbasi.

"We have companies that make very good Turkish coffee, cups and machines. Let's get it all over the world together. We want to spread our coffee by fortune telling, because the fortune teller culture is widespread abroad. It attracts a lot of attention," he said.

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Referring to the reason why Turkish coffee is not as common as espresso, Kolbasi said: "This is about the late start of the electric heating method. The ability of electrical appliances to heat water and make coffee or tea quickly dates back to the 1890s, the first kettle … The first filter coffee machine in the 1920s, espresso in the 1940s …This is also the case in the 2000s. It was very difficult to make Turkish coffee with an electric product outside of the stove until 2002."

"Still, Turkish coffee is different from the machine habits of coffee shops in the world," he added.

'10 per cent of world's coffee consumed in form of Turkish coffee'

Noting that it has become very easy to make Turkish coffee abroad, he said that today, 15 Turkish brands and five international brands produce Turkish coffee machines.

"According to our research, 10 per cent of the coffee consumed in the world is consumed in the form of Turkish coffee," said Kolbasi.

"In 2008, we established the Turkish Coffee Culture and Research Association. We tried to remind people about the awareness of Turkish coffee in our country, and then we applied to UNESCO.

"For the first time in history, UNESCO registered a liquid drink as an 'intangible cultural heritage' on 5 December, 2013 in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku."

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"Greece and Italy objected while this was being done there. Italy said to us: 'You have come with such a file that if we object, you will take the espresso away from us'," he added.

"We have assets such as Turkish coffee and Turkish delight that have a Turkish name in front of them and are very well known in the world."

"The collaboration of any company that has become a brand in the world with the culture in the country where it is located, provides significant benefits in terms of perception. Culture and brand develop together."

"No one should give up on other coffees, but give Turkish coffee the place it deserves. Because, behind the fact that other coffees can be drunk today, there is a 600-year history of Turkish coffee."

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