Everyone adores a captivating underdog tale. It’s the tale of the newcomer challenging the status quo and emerging victorious. This narrative has captivated us for decades.
We’ve cheered for iconic underdogs like Rocky, Andy, and Red (from Shawshank Redemption), and the lovable Kung Fu Panda.
Yet, there’s something even more appealing: the enduring stalwarts that flourish despite the influx of new competitors.
Coca-Cola’s original formula, dating back to the late 19th century, remains remarkably unchanged, despite numerous attempts by rivals to imitate it. Leica’s legendary rangefinder cameras have retained their distinctive design and optical excellence, even as newer camera technologies have emerged. Chanel No. 5, introduced in 1921, continues to be crafted using its original formula and stands as a timeless and highly coveted fragrance.
And in the realm of coffee, one enduring symbol stands tall – the Cezve, the Turkish coffee pot. This iconic vessel boasts a history spanning centuries, with a design that remains virtually unaltered. Today, it remains not only a beloved coffee-brewing method but has also spawned international competitions.
The Origins of a Tradition
The story of the Turkish Cezve begins in the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where coffee was more than a beverage; it was a cherished tradition. Legend has it that the Ottomans perfected the art of brewing coffee using a small, long-handled pot with a narrow neck and spout – the Cezve.
The Cezve’s design was meticulously crafted to accommodate the unique characteristics of Turkish coffee. Its narrow neck and spout allowed for precise pouring, while the wide base facilitated the gradual simmering essential for this brew. Skilled artisans honed their craftsmanship to create these intricate pots, often adorned with ornate patterns reflecting the region’s rich artistic heritage.
While the Cezve originated in the Ottoman Empire, variations of this iconic pot can be found in various countries, each with its unique take on the design.
In Greece, it’s known as a “briki” and closely resembles the Turkish version, though it often features a longer handle for preparing Greek coffee.
The Arabic version, called a “dallah,” is typically taller and more ornate, featuring a spout resembling a bird’s beak and used for brewing Arabic coffee.
In the Balkans, a similar pot named “džezva” is employed for making Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian coffee.
Despite these regional adaptations, the fundamental design principles of the Cezve remain consistent, attesting to its timeless functionality.
The Emergence of Cezve Competitions
In recent times, the Turkish Cezve has transcended its traditional role and taken center stage in competitive coffee brewing. The Cezve/Ibrik Championship has gained global recognition, attracting participants from across the globe.
Competitors, often baristas and coffee enthusiasts, are evaluated not just on the taste and aroma of their brew but also on their Cezve-handling technique. The precision and artistry required to brew the perfect cup of Turkish coffee have elevated this humble pot into an emblem of coffee culture and craftsmanship.
Relevance in the Modern World
In an era dominated by espresso machines and pour-over drippers, why does the Turkish Cezve persist as a brewing method? I have a few theories:
- cultural significance: the Cezve remains deeply interwoven with the cultural fabric of regions where it’s used. It symbolizes hospitality and bridges generations as it’s passed down through families.
- unique flavor: Turkish coffee, prepared in a Cezve, offers a flavor profile distinct from other brewing methods. Its robust, bold flavor and velvety texture are cherished by coffee aficionados.
- minimalistic approach: the Cezve’s design is elegantly simple – just a pot, water, coffee, and heat. It’s an accessible method that doesn’t necessitate costly equipment.
My preferred embodiment of the Cezve is Goat Story’s Otto. It reverently preserves the original design while seamlessly ushering it into the 21st century with its matte-black finish and clean lines. Crafted from stainless steel and boasting a capacity of up to 5 cups of coffee, it’s a perfect fit for modern kitchens.
Kudos to Goat Story for reigniting my enthusiasm for Turkish coffee.