My new favorite coffee house. It's right across the street…
- If you are planning on living in Istanbul for more than a year, you must go out and buy an electric Turkish coffee maker. If that sounds odd, just think about having a party, and then having to make everyone a cup of coffee by hand using a small, traditional cezve pot, great for 1-2 people, but really annoying for a crowd. People ask for different levels of sweetness, and you have to watch your pot carefully to prevent it from burning, yet achieve that perfect touch and go boil point, at least two times. I initially thought that just by switching to an electric pot, the process would be much easier. Unfortunately, most electric pots give you a false sense of security that the coffee process is being taken care of. It does heat the water fast, but you have to watch it extremely carefully, because most of them don’t have an automatic shut off sensor. I learned the hard way when I left the room for a split second, and came back to coffee and foam surging from the pot, and all over my counter.
The very best electric pot I found, and what all the hotels, coffee shops and restaurants use in Istanbul, is an Arçelik brand Turkish coffee maker. It comes in various sizes: some with a water reservoir, and some without. It heats it up twice to just the right temperature, for the perfect cup of coffee, and then automatically shuts off, so your coffee will never boil over. It also makes a beeping sound, so you know it’s done. Another great feature is that it keeps it warm if you are not there to collect it immediately. If you use good quality Turkish coffee, the flavor is outstanding. I have the small model, so I fill it up by hand, add the ground coffee, press the button, and voila. If you fill it too full of water a red light comes on, and the machine won’t even start, just another great, built in, user friendly feature.
- A double decker tea pot, with the top for brewing tea, and the bottom one for holding the hot water to dilute your Turkish tea for just the right strength.
- A pressure cooker for cooking chickpeas.
- A large pot for easily par boiling black and white cabbage leaves, grape leaves, and dry peppers and eggplants for stuffing.
- A breakfast tray that comes with a lid, and contains an inner array of small bowls, round or square, that are filled and refilled with delicacies that comprise a classic Turkish breakfast. A common morning staple is fig jam, made with delicate and fragrant, green, baby figs, or some other type of marmalade or honey, a handmade cumin and thyme infused spread, made with village tomato paste and walnuts, and an assortment of olives and cheeses. The whole tray goes into the fridge with the lid on, and then gets refilled after breakfast.
- A yogurt maker, if you want your yogurt made from raw milk that is unpasteurized and unhomogenized.
- A panini press, which is the equivalent of an American style toaster in a Turkish household, but is used for making grilled cheese, plain toast, and roasted peppers.
*The Arçelik company did not pay me, or give me the coffeemaker for free btw, I just really think its a great product.