By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - For Turks, coffee is not simply a drink, it is a lifestyle, Gizem Salcigil White, who is known as the Turkish Coffee Lady, said Saturday as the US capital marked World Turkish Coffee Day.
White is the founder of the Turkish Coffee Lady Foundation in the US state of Virginia, which aims to promote Turkey’s 500-year-old coffee culture, and its significant historical value while building intercultural cultures.
On the World Turkish Coffee Day, the foundation hosted a virtual celebration along with Habitat Association (Habitat), a non-governmental organization based in Istanbul.
"A cup of Turkish coffee is remembered with appreciation for 40 years, which means offering a cup of coffee binds a friendship," said White in her opening remarks.
Turkish coffee was added to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on Dec. 5, 2013. Since then, World Turkish Coffee Day has been celebrated on Dec. 5 every year.
Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kilic also sent a written message to mark the day, saying that Turkish coffee has a history that goes back to the 16th century.
"It is more than coffee," said Kilic, who added that Turkish coffee is symbolic of hospitality and friendship.
The US capital has also declared Dec. 5 World Turkish Coffee Culture Day following an initiative by the Turkish Coffee Lady Foundation.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser thanked the foundation for "sharing the rich tradition" of Turkish coffee "and bridging cultures - one coffee at a time" ahead of the virtual celebration.
"This event will provide a history of Turkish coffee, help build bridges, strengthen friendships and develop an appreciation and understanding of Turkish culture and tradition," Bowser said in a letter to the foundation.
White extended gratitude and appreciation to the mayor.
During the event, a video was aired to show how to make a traditional foamy Turkish coffee.
Items needed are a long handled copper pot, called cezve, and a small demitasse cup, just like an espresso cup. Ingredients are fine powder Turkish coffee (a full teaspoon for each person), cold fresh water and sugar is optional.
Put one coffee cup of water and one teaspoon of coffee for each person into a pot and use low heat to boil the coffee, and then comes froth on the top, says White in the video.
Just before it overflows, remove the pot from heat and divide the froth into the coffee cup with a teaspoon and bring the rest of the coffee to boil again and then pour into the cup, she concludes.
The foundation also ran a message Saturday that read: "Celebrating World Turkish Coffee Day and its 500 year old culture" on the Nasdaq building in New York City.