First coffee museum of Turkey opens
Turkey’s first coffee museum, opened by three coffee experts in the northern province of Karabük’s Safranbolu district — a UNESCO World Heritage site — to pass the 500-year-old coffee culture of Anatolia on to future generations, takes visitors on a historical journey.
Naim Koca and Atilla Narin, the writers of the book “Anadolu’nun Kayıp Kahveleri” (“Lost Coffees of Anatolia”), and Semih Yıldırım, the inventor of coffee made of saffron, the world’s most expensive plant, have opened the Turkish Coffee Museum with materials they amassed over the years.
The museum is home to different coffees offered in various parts of Anatolia and 100- to 150-year-old coffee pots, cups, coffee grinders, scales, wooden spoons, water cubes and sugar bowls, shedding light on the history of coffee.
The museum offers some 40 types of coffees including “Burçak,” “Zingarella,” “Tarz-ı Hususi,” “Mırra,” “Nohut,” “Cilveli,” “Şehzade,” “Hilve” and “Dibek.”
The museum, which also aims to lure foreign tourists, has pieces used by well-known names in Turkish history: A cup used by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid, a coffee pot that belonged to War of Independence veteran Sütçü İmam, the replica of a coffee cup from which Turkish Republic founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk drank his last coffee and a 12-cornered coffee cup representing 12 imams.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Naim Koca said that he had been involved in the coffee business for nearly 20 years, and that he had visited all parts of Turkey as part of his business.
Stating that coffee has a history of 500 years, Koca said the making of Turkish coffee was important and they had established the museum with his friends after a four-year effort to survive this culture.
Koca, who stated that they aimed to make Turkish coffee more well-known in the world, said, “I and my friend Atilla Narin prepared the book ‘Anadolu’nun Kayıp Kahveleri.’ There are some 40 coffee types. We want coffee to develop a little more in our country because it is part of our culture. The aim of our museum is to reveal the coffee more clearly. To help people know more about coffee and to spread coffee culture.”
Koca said that the official opening of the museum has not yet been made but was visited by 200-250 people a day, with especially foreign tourists showing interest in the museum.
Narin said that he had been making studies on Turkish coffee for 15 years. “We gathered coffee cultures in our country in the book. Turkish coffee is very important to us. We finished the work for the Turkish Coffee Museum last month after four years. We have received a lot of attention and support. This is the first coffee museum; the only one in Turkey. We have received many donations with meticulous work. We get many positive reactions and want to develop the museum because coffee has been existing in this place for the last 500 years.”
The other owner, Yıldırım said that they had brought together the UNESCO world heritage site Safranbolu with the intangible heritage that is coffee.