11 January 2011

Black as Hell

No, the title doesn't refer to economic outlook or the dark night of my soul. It's a reference to an old proverb regarding coffee. More precisely, it's a reference to Turkish coffee:

"Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love."

Can I kiss the person who said this? I'm known for my love of strong coffee and it's a given that if I brew coffee, someone (ie: everyone) will dilute their cup with water. I don't sweeten mine with much sugar, though. Just enough to enhance the flavor.

I've not actually ever tried Turkish coffee. I don't own an ibrik or cezve (the brewing device of Turkish coffee) and I don't know anyone who does. However, there's a local coffee shop owner who possesses uncanny knowledge of foreign coffee brewing techniques. Perhaps I'll ask him if he can brew me some black as hell coffee the next time I pop in for horchata

The most appealing aspect to me is not the legendary strength of the coffee, but the culture that surrounds it. It's my opinion that we take too many things for granted in our culture; we hurry through life, we rush and gulp and guzzle. There are precious few who actually take the time to brew coffee (or tea for that matter). I savor the moments I can sit quietly by, listening to the pot gurgle and hiss as my fresh ground coffee beans go from dirt-like grounds to deep, rich brew. The sounds, the smells of fresh ground, fresh brewed coffee entice and entrance. It's a far cry from shouting "a tall, half-caf, double cream, low fat such in such" to a disembodied voice via drive-thru.

Then again, I also like hand writing letters and hanging the wash on a line in the sun, so take the above societal chiding with a grain of salt ;)

Excellent resource for Turkish Coffee history, culture and instructions on how to brew it : Turkish Coffee
Ways to order coffee in Turkey : Turkey Travel Planner
Want to set up your own Turkish Coffeehouse? Visit Turkish Coffee World!


Brian Miller said...

oh i take mine black as hell with nothing in coffee!

Tabitha Bird said...

I wish I liked the taste of coffee, but I don't. I love the smell though. sigh. Guess I'll be drinking my tea.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I would definitely dilute with water- I like my coffee not too strong and with milk. But not the "instant coffee" that is so popular in Indian offices.

Gorgeous photograph too- did you take it?

Lin said...

I don't like it too strong and I definitely like it better if someone else makes it for me.

roxy said...

I'm more of a tea girl myself, but I love the Turkish coffee quote.

Mary Aalgaard said...

It would be fun to visit a coffee shop and get educated on the cultures of coffee. I'd try Turkish coffee. Speaking of coffee pots, I thought mine was playing a samba beat this morning - a little sh-sh-bop.
Cheers to caffeine!

Glynis said...

I've not actually ever tried Turkish coffee. I don't own an ibrik or cezve (the brewing device of Turkish coffee) and I don't know anyone who does...*cough* You do now, only I make Cyprus coffee! :)

Rebecca S. said...

I too like my coffee strong and sweet, but with cream. My brother refers to the other kind of brew as 'boiled pennies' and about as flavourful. In the evenings I am already looking forward to the next morning's cup, which I get up a bit early to grind and brew in my French press, and then savour while I prepare for the day. Ahhhhh.

Beth said...

Food, travel and writing? This is the perfect blog!