Turkey

The Championship

Writer

John Burns

Photographer

Mustafa Dedeoglu

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Taste obviously forms a large part of the scoring criteria; in just two sips, the judges evaluate the coffee on its body, taste balance and ‘synergy’. Of the championship’s 19-page document of rules and regulations – the most critical for competitors is perhaps rule 2.1.2.B, that ‘the signature cezve/ibrik must be drinkable’.

This year’s triumphant winner was Turgay Yildizli, an Istanbul native now living in New Orleans, who won using a Sulawesi Pedamaran AA blend from Indonesia, roasted by Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Maryland, USA. ‘Turkish coffee is in my genes,’ he says. ‘For my competition routine I tried to merge traditional and contemporary approaches. I don’t wear this traditional costume in my daily routine,’ he says of his jaunty felt hat and waistcoat. Deemed to produce the world’s official best cup of Turkish coffee, Yildizli describes his winning routine.

‘I use a one part coffee to eight part water ratio. I pour specialty coffee – ground freshly and finer than espresso – and good quality 60°C water into a specially designed high-quality copper cezve. Then I brew it at around 93°C, stopping just before it boils. The total brew time should be less than two minutes. I serve the coffee in special cups with a wide bottom design, which helps the grounds to settle down faster and stay at the bottom of the cup when sipped. Of course, I always serve Turkish delight and medjool dates as accompaniments.’

In second place this year, only six points behind Yildizli, was Stavros Lamprinidis of Greece. Coming in third was Amy Yildizli, none other than Turgay Yildizli’s wife. Supporting the cross-cultural aims of the championship, the couple are taking Turkish coffee to New Orleans with their soon to open micro-roastery coffee shop, Three Chairs Coffee Roasters.

‘New Orleans has its own coffee culture but recently third-wave coffee has come to the city and there are some good retail coffee shops opening up. Turkish Coffee is not a popular brewing method in the US specialty coffee scene right now, but the community is open and welcoming to both new and old methods and brewing equipment. I believe Turkish coffee is becoming more popular over there,’ he says.

This article appears in the issue42Buy Now