The bustling city where East meets West is none other than Istanbul. It rests on the remnants of an empire of pride and culture. The Turkish coffee brewing method was invented here, as coffee is often known as an excuse for great conversation. The city’s best historical café was a difficult choice to make due to the vast historical significance of the city, but he had to start with Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi.
The best historical cafe in Istanbul
The Turkish café started out primarily as a coffee roasting company in 1871 after taking over the Aktar café that belonged to his father. The shop carried out herbs and spices and was already a local epicentre. Unlike other shops, Efendi did not sell raw coffee beans, he sold the roasted and ground kind which was uncommon at the time. It gave him the edge to take over the Istanbul coffee scene as it resonated a heavenly smell over Tahmis Sokağı.
The special production method is what helped them stand out, combing both traditional modern methodolgies for the time. Mehemet Efendi from these values became a leading Turkish coffee brand. The tradition would carry on through generations.
A family legacy in Istanbul
Until 1934, the family took on the name Kurukahveci just ten years before Mehmet Efendi passed away. The eldest son Hasan Selhattin took over and brought the brand to international markets. At this point, Turkish coffee became an international landmark.
Until 1934 the brand was mass produced and even had its own logo designed by the next generation of owners , namely Hulusi Bey. After his untimely demise, the café would be passed onto the youngest son, Ahmet Riza Kurkahveci.
Leading the coffee export trend
The company started to innovate and keep up with marketing trends. Papers bags were introduced as a novel form of packaging in Turkey and distribution started to take place by car. Soon, posters , calendars and really interesting marketing materials were produced.
Today, Kurukahveci Mehmet coffee is exported to over 50 countries. Their coffee is best prepared the Ibrik way. That means being prepared in a “cezve”, a small long-handled coffee pot. It should be placed on high heat, and brought to a boiling point. Major tip would be to do this several times, meaning watching the water boil up, removing the pot and placing it back on the heat until the coffee is properly cooked. The aroma is unlike anything you have ever tried.