Turkish Coffee - Name and Variants

Name and Variants

The word 'coffee' comes from the Arabic word قهوة qahwah. The drinking of coffee as a hot beverage developed in the Ottoman Empire. The importance of coffee in Turkish culture is evident in the word 'breakfast', kahvaltı, whose literal meaning is "before coffee" (kahve 'coffee' + altı 'under/before') and 'brown', kahverengi, whose literal meaning is, "the color of coffee".

Turkish coffee in the Middle East was called simply 'coffee' until instant coffee was introduced in the 1980s. Today, younger generations make a distinction by referring to 'Türk kahvesi' (Turkish coffee).

The word for "coffeeshop" in Modern Standard Arabic is مقهىً (maqha, literally meaning "place of coffee", plural, مقاهي maqahi(n)), but the more common term in colloquial Arabic is simply قهوة (qahwa), meaning "coffee" in much the same way as French and Portuguese use café for both.

In many languages, the term "Turkish" coffee has been replaced by the local variant name as a political euphemism - as in "Greek coffee" (ελληνικός καφές ellinikós kafés), and "Cypriot coffee" (κυπριακός καφές kypriakós kafés) - or it is dropped altogether. The words for "coffee" and "coffeeshop" remained unchanged in Greek as in the other Balkan languages, using the Ottoman Turkish forms kahve and kahvehane: Bulgarian кафе, кафене; Macedonian кафе, Serbian кафа, кафана; Croatian kava, kavana; Bosnian kahva, kafana; Slovenian kava, kavarna; Romanian cafea, cafenea; Greek καφές, καφενές (although now more commonly the Hellenized καφενείο); Albanian kafe, kafene.

Read more about this topic:  Turkish Coffee

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