A cup of Turkish coffee may last 40 of memory and remembrance?

by Nuri Yaylali

I have not come across another drink as life-saving as Turkish coffee. When you drink it with your friends, you reminisce the past; the conversation gets deeper; you tell the fortune for the curious one; and also it can be used to measure the patience of the groom by adding a bit of salt in the coffee. It appears that Turkish coffee which continues its journey from the past to the future makes the drinkers addicted, thus it leaves a memory that lingers on for 40 years.

Where did the 40 years of memory originate from?

Once upon a time there was a wise man from Üsküdar in Istanbul. All sorts of people would visit this coffee maker to get his advice, to listen to his chatting and share their troubles.

This wise man’s real job was not to make coffee but to sell coffee and his coffee was known for its bitterness. One day, a janissary soldier entered this coffee shop. There were people who liked drinking this bitter coffee inside as usual. But one of them was a Greek smoking hookah. Just then the janissary coming inside said:

-That wise man with skilled hands, a wealth heart and a broad mind! Make coffee for all of the customers and serve them on me; but except that heathen.

The Greek he called a heathen was the captain of a ship. The Greek customer who heard these words sighed deeply and continued smoking his hookah in darkness.

The wise man owning the coffee house made coffee for everyone and then made two cups of coffee for the Captain and himself and approached the Captain. The janissary who saw this got annoyed and said, 'Did I not say everyone except him?' Then the wise man said, "This is not yours but my treat.”

The wise man and the Greek Captain had chatted for a long time. The Greek Captain enjoyed this conversation so much that when he returned to his home he noted down what he had experienced there.

40 years passed by. The Greeks was selling their prisoners on the market and financed their rebellions. Many Ottoman soldiers were bought to be killed. An old man who quoted a good price for the wise man bought the wise man. He took him away from the market place to a deserted place. The Greek Captain remembered the Coffee Maker, but the Coffee Maker had already forgotten the Greek Captain, and so his fear continued.

"O’ wise man, the coffee you served me has created a friendship between us, which extended to this day. I have not forgotten the memory of that coffee, even if you had. Now you are free; but if you wish, I could safely take you to your country," said the Greek Captain.

So this is how the saying of “the 40 years of memory” originated. Nowadays, the saying "coffee is an excuse, what matters is the chatting" which is said about the chatting over coffee supports this story. There is also an endless benefit to the Turkish coffee which is beautiful in itself and in its chatting.