Mocha coffee – a touch of seduction, hot and sweet like love, mysterious and unique like a fairy tale from 1001 nights. This is the composition that turns a fine mocha coffee into a pleasure drink. A delicacy that is more than just a coffee, because a mocha combines friendship, history and reveals a centuries-old culture.
From Arabia via Constantinople to Europe
The cradle of the little black bean that gives us so much pleasure and joy is in Arabia. The mocha bean first grew wild in Ethiopia until it was finally cultivated in Yemen and grown on plantations. The mocha was named after the Yemeni port city of al-Mucha (mocha) on the Red Sea, which was the most important export port for coffee.
According to one story, the governor of Yemen brought the mocha coffee bean to Constantinople in the 16th century as a gift to the then Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The Sultan was so enthusiastic about this new drink that mocha coffee quickly gained a particularly high priority at court. A coffee maker was even set up specifically to cook the mocha for the Sultan and his guests. He received the title “Kahvecibas?” (Coffee Chef) and from then on was considered an important person at the court.
The mocha coffee and its death sentence
The mocha coffee spread very quickly in the capital of the Ottomans. Over 600 coffee houses were built in Constantinople in a very short time. The culture of the Turkish coffee ceremony was born. The gentlemen of society met in very luxurious coffee houses for relaxation, but also for intellectual discussion groups. This displeased the theologians of the country and under Sultan Murat IV the Ottoman coffee houses were banned. He made drinking coffee a death penalty and had the beautiful coffee houses, which now had their own architectural character, demolished. But the next sultan did not want to do without coffee and lifted the coffee ban at the beginning of the 17th century. From this point on, the culture of mocha coffee spread throughout the Ottoman Empire and reached as far as Europe.
The coffee ceremony becomes part of social life
The ritual of drinking coffee has moved to private homes since Sultan Mehmet IV and the coffee ceremony, which is still alive today, came into being. You don’t just drink a Turkish mocha in passing, drink it as a coffee to go, that would be a sin. This coffee is an important part of Turkish culture and therefore has a special place in society. It serves as a prelude to a social meeting or as a grand finale after work. But it can also be served as a thank you gesture or to greet neighbors. Every good meal ends with a Turkish mocha. The mocha coffee is an important part of social life.
This is how the Turkish mocha coffee can be prepared
The Turkish method of preparation is the oldest method of preparation and hardly differs from Arabic mocha. It is important that the bean is ground as finely as flour. This is what makes mocha coffee. Strongly roasted arabica beans, which traditionally come from Ethiopia, are suitable for the mocha. Now you need a small stemmed vessel, the cezve (traditionally made of copper), some sugar, water and a helping of patience.
For a cup of mocha, take a well-heaped teaspoon of coffee powder, add sugar and stir the two together. The amount of sugar depends on the taste of the connoisseur. Two teaspoons of sugar are used for sweet mocha, if you prefer the coffee to taste balanced, then one teaspoon is sufficient. Those who prefer the pure coffee taste should drink the coffee without sugar. Now the amount of water for a cup of mocha is added and everything is mixed well and vigorously. The coffee should no longer be stirred during the entire cooking process. As soon as the coffee forms a foam and this rises in the cezve, the mocha is ready. It must not boil, otherwise it will become bitter and the important foam will be lost. In Arab countries, rose water, allspice or cardamom are often added to mocha, giving the coffee a whole new note.
You should briefly rinse the prepared mocha cups with hot water so that the coffee does not cool down too quickly. Now pour the coffee foam, the crowning glory of Turkish mocha, into the small Turkish mocha cup with a spoon and pour the coffee onto it. When the foam closes as a hood in the cup, the Turkish mocha is perfect. Turkish mocha is served in small, often elaborately decorated mocha cups. Not to be missed is a glass of water as well as a sweet, colorful Turkish delight, which is also a highlight with coffee.
Turkish mocha is a pleasure – sometimes sweet, sometimes salty, then again fate
The Turkish mocha also has its own meaning in courtship. In Turkey, it is still taken for granted that the groom and his family visit the family of the loved ones. You get to know each other better and the groom asks for the hand of his loved one. During this visit, the bride makes the coffee. Of course, she goes to great lengths to ensure that every visitor is satisfied with their desired coffee taste. The girl will only cook an even better mocha at the suitor. She’ll cook it with salt instead of sugar. If the person you love drinks the coffee without batting an eyelid, and then thanks you and says “ellerine sağlık” – may your hands continue to cook so well, then he has passed the courtship.
Turkish mocha has another tradition that is still maintained throughout Turkey today. The future of the connoisseur shows itself in coffee grounds. In good coffee houses in Istanbul there are extra coffee grounds readers that you can claim for a fee. In private circles, a good coffee grounds reader is guaranteed to sit at the table who can oracle about the future. To do this, the coffee drinker takes his saucer after the last sip of coffee, places it on the coffee cup, turns both over and briefly swings the cup with the plate. Then the coffee grounds are allowed to sit down, it can take a few minutes, and only then will the secret of the future be revealed.
Conclusion to the mocha coffee
The bean of the mocha coffee must be ground as finely as flour.
When cooking Turkish mocha coffee, the foam hood is important, only a completely preserved foam hood is the proof of a well-cooked mocha coffee.
Mocha coffee is filled with the coffee grounds in the cup. Before drinking, however, the coffee powder settles so that the coffee can be enjoyed in its perfect purity.