Life in the Coffee Houses of Gaziantep

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I love caffeine. I adore it. I think it is a wonderful substance and often drink more than six cups of Nescafe in a day.

I can also top that off with a can of Redbull and on odd occasions, have to lie down because my over indulgence has bought on a caffeine headache.

The last time I tried to detox from my addiction to caffeine, I could not function.

Two hours into the day and I gave up. Therefore, it is a surprise to many people that I hate Turkish coffee.

I think it is the vilest stuff that could ever pass my lips.

I cannot understand how anyone can drink a cup and not throw up.

Despite many attempts by my Turkish mother-in-law to convert me, I still refuse any offer to drink the mud like substance. (Correction, I drank some in Beypazari but only because an excessive amount of milk was added to it)

So, hubby is a lifelong fan of Turkish coffee and when we were in the south east of  Turkey, I should have guessed that at some point, I would be lined up for the ritual attempt to persuade me to drink a cup.

Turkish coffee sign in GaziantepThe Coffee Houses of Gaziantep

I am used to seeing teahouses wherever I go in Turkey but Gaziantep also has a good amount of coffee houses and types of coffee that I had never heard of before.

It was a big learning curve for me as I followed hubby from coffee house to coffee house.

Menengic and Dibek Coffee

“What is it? I asked hubby while looking at the billboard advert.

“Not sure. Never seen it before” he replied

He then disappeared through the doors of the café. I assumed this meant we were stopping for a drink.

He ordered two cups of coffee so I ran over to the waiter and promptly changed the order to one cup and a bottle of water. I refused to try it.

The Menengic coffee is made from the terebinth berry. Zerrin from Give Recipe describes the taste as “interesting” making me believe that I did not miss a lot.

The berry is a wild form of the pistachio nut and there is no caffeine in it. Perhaps that explains my lack of interest then!

We had to pay attention though as hubby had ordered Dibek Coffee instead and the waiter was eager to explain that this was no normal cup of coffee.

Menengic dibek kahvesi

The establishment we were sitting in was called the Tarihi Gumruk Hani and they specialized in “Fincanda Pisen Osmanli Dibek Kahvesi”.

Coffee House in Gaziantep Turkey

It was quite a mouthful trying to repeat that but I eventually understood the translation.

The word “Dibek” refers to mortar and all the ingredients in their coffee are ground by hand using a mortar and pestle.

The words “Fincanda Pisen” meant the coffee was actually made in the cup and not using the traditional Turkish coffee pot.

“Osmanli” means Ottoman, referring to the method an age-old tradition.

However, no matter how hard my hubby and the waiter tried, I still could not appreciate the coffee or methods to warrant drinking a cup.

Tarihi Yenihan Coffee House in Gaziantep

Thinking I had been subjected to enough coffee rituals, we continued on our way but the next stop was the Tarihi Yenihan.

Within the large courtyard of this ancient building, there was a small shop. At the back of the shop, steps led down to a large cave café.

Coffee House in Gaziantep

This coffee house was actually a novelty because I quite enjoy caves ever since I slept in a cave hotel in Cappadocia.

It was not enough though to tempt me to try the coffee served in small, silver cups.

Turkish coffee

The Tahmis Coffee House

In terms of historical importance, the Tahmis coffee house has to come at the top of the list.

It was built in 1635, to provide an income for the adjoining whirling dervish lodge and was rebuilt twice, in 1901 and 1903 following fires.

I still had no desire to go in and try the coffee though.

Tahmis Kahvesi Gaziantep

All I wanted was to sit down with a nice ice-cold beer. Unfortunately, all bars in Gaziantep are not visited by women unless they are ladies of the night.

I had no interest in starting a new career so had to resort to sneaking black plastic bags containing Efes beer back to the hotel room!

My husband cannot understand my lack of enthusiasm for the coffee houses of Gaziantep given my addiction to caffeine. Most certainly, I will not recommend to readers that they try the coffee when I would not taste it myself.

However, I do recommend a visit to at least one coffee house in Gaziantep. It is worth it to understand that coffee is a big thing there!

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