Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday, October 06, 2012 - 2 comments

The Coffee Diaries: Istanbul, April 2012

April 19

#1 - Blonde Blend in my brown stainless steel travel mug on the way to the airport.  That thing keeps coffee so hot, it’s impossible to drink it in the 30 minutes it takes to get there, and I ended up checking in for our flight all Java-scented with brown spots on my jeans thanks to an airport speed-bump.

#2 - A not-sugary-enough orta şekerli (medium sugar Turkish coffee) when we stopped for a break @ Müze Kahve in Topkapı Sarayı (Topkapı Palace)

April 20

#1 - Iced caramel macchiato with heaps of whipped cream at Cherry Bean Coffee in Galata.  I love the smell of freshly roasted beans (one of the few in Istanbul that does their own) and the true coffee house feel of this place.  French, Italian, and 40’s swing music, low tables and stools, with a full wall of windows looking out onto a narrow street with those classic Beyoğlu balconies.

#2 - Orta şekerli at Coffee to Go in Galata.  Literally a “hole in the wall” at maybe five feet wide, ten feet deep.  There’s a teeny table for two squeezed into the back, with two stools at the coffee bar inside, two more outside, and just enough room for one barista to fit behind the bar.  Ladybug magnets holding up pictures of neices and nephews (?) on the wall, with Christmas decorations hanging from pegs below.  The equipment = a super fun shiny red espresso machine and another one that made fantastically foamy Turkish coffee.  I’d swing by daily if I lived here....maybe twice if the waiter were cute.  :)

April 21

#1 - An orta şekerli at Cafe Sultan in the Grand Bazaar.  It was super crowded, so we ended up sharing a table with a couple holidaying from Germany and, as a show of Turkish hospitality, we treated our guests to their çay.  

#2 - Caramel macchiato as an afternoon pick-me-up at the Starbucks in Sultanahmet.  I smiled brightly as I asked if I could use my expired coupon and got my drink for free!

April 22

#1 - An orta şekerli @ Yoros Cafe just below the Yoros Kalesi (fortress) in Anadolu Kavağı, accompanied by a great köy kahvaltısı (“village breakfast”) spread and a superb view of the Bosphorus.  Following our feast, we climbed the hill inside the fortress (after having to beg permission from the surly security guard) to see the spot where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea.  Gorgeous.

#2 - Caramel Macchiato @ the domestic terminal Starbucks in Atatürk Airport while waiting for our delayed flight home.  (Confession:  I snuck a Stroopwafel from the tray of the guy at the table next to us when he left for his flight.  He hadn’t touched it and I wasn’t about to let it end up in the trash!)  We amused ourselves by watching the rise and fall of emotions amongst the entirely male crowd of football fans crowded around the only TV in the terminal to watch the all-important Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe match.  Of particular interest were the poor waiters, shopkeepers and security guards who were torn between doing their jobs and running back and forth from their posts to the TV every time a cheer erupted.  I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one illegal water bottle made it through security and a couple of chocolate bars went missing from the gift shop that night.  :)


Jamie'cim, I'd be fun to go traveling with you sometime. Drinking coffee and exploring the cafes is a nice way to get to know a city. Have you ever been to Budapest? I love that city but haven't been to so many of it's cafes yet. Would be fun to get to know Your Istanbul too sometime.

Then we should go together sometime! There are still heaps of places I haven't had coffee yet.... :)