Allan Langdale is an art historian and lecturer, who earned his doctorate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His specialties include Italian Renaissance art and architecture, medieval art, and Byzantine art. His recent publications include the definitive guidebook to the art and archaeology of northern Cyprus and the travelogue, Palermo: Travels in the City of Happiness (2015).
On our recent Circumnavigation of the Black Sea expedition, art historian Allan Langdale took some time to describe the process of preparing traditional Turkish coffee.
Allan Langdale, Art Historian: When you order a Turkish coffee, you’re gonna get three components. You’re gonna get the Turkish coffee, itself; you’re gonna get a glass of water, and the water is for washing the grounds out of your mouth after you’re finished; and a good coffee shop will always give you a little bit of Turkish lokum, as well. The proper preparation of Turkish coffee is very, very important: you put the grounds in with some water into the little copper pourer, and if it’s a proper Turkish coffee shop, they will put it in sand, and the sand is heated from a kind of brazier underneath, and the art of it is to bring the coffee to a boil, but not quite to a boil, you bring it up slowly. This is why it’s in the sand, because the sand distributes the heat evenly. Just at the point before the coffee comes to a boil, we’ll pluck the coffee container from the sand and pour you your coffee. Doing it slowly, bringing it up to that temperature slowly, and taking it out at just the right moment is part of the art of Turkish coffee making. And then you can sip and enjoy a delicious cup of Turkish coffee.