Coffee always reminds me of my grandmother. She used to drink her black, Turkish coffee everyday in the morning at 6:00 AM sharp. Back then, it was a ritual in which people sat down and enjoyed their drink sip by sip. The process of enjoying the espresso-sized cup of Turkish coffee used to take an average of an hour. As opposed to the present-day rushed coffee drinking on the subway, or while stuck in traffic, on the way to work. Like her, I still enjoy my black, Turkish coffee, but in a process that takes no longer than 15 minutes, and that does not take place at 6:00 AM.
Turkish coffee was made popular in the Middle East through the occupation and cultural imperialism of the Ottoman Empire. The British came later and introduced tea and, eventually, the region became among some of the highest consumers of tea. Nevertheless, coffee’s influence on people’s taste never lost its way as it still lingers until today.
Unlike then, coffee now is available in a variety of types and flavors; latte, black, cappuccino, etc. Long queues congesting coffee shops in the morning reflect the growing popularity of the drink. In two minutes, every customer orders the type of coffee with characteristics that reveal the individual’s life style and taste. Some like it American, while others like it Turkish. Some like it black while others like it sweet and milky. Some people even like it with alcohol, mesmerizing themselves at the mixture of the energizing coffee and the calming alcohol.
Coffee transformed from a slow morning ritual into a persona that is adopted by its consumers. The biggest part of it is secluded and rushed, on the way to work or running late for a meeting. It still contains a social aspect of it, however. Family, friends and couples meet often at coffee shops to enjoy the taste of coffee while catching up.
Although awareness about the side effects of coffee has been raised, it is still a much healthier alternative in comparison with other habits that now take place in people’s everyday lives, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, coffee consumption remains internationally high. In fact, coffee is the second traded commodity in the world.