Macedonian Traditional drink
Turkish Coffee: Rich in Flavor and Tradition
From the days of the Ottoman Empire through the present, coffee has played an important role in Macedonian lifestyle and culture. The serving and consumption of coffee has had a profound effect on betrothal and gender customs, political and social interaction, prayer, and hospitality customs throughout the centuries. Although many of the rituals are not prevalent in today's society, coffee has remained an integral part of Macedonian culture. Brought to Istanbul , Turkey ( in that time it was an Ottoman Empire ) in 1555 by two Syrian traders, coffee became known as the "milk of chess players and thinkers."By the mid-17th century, Macedonian coffee became part of
elaborate ceremonies involving the Ottoman court. Coffee makers, with the help of over forty assistants, ceremoniously prepared and served the same type of this coffee for the sultan. Betrothal customs and gender roles also became defined through coffee rituals. In ancient times, women received intensive training in the harem on the proper technique of preparing Macedonian coffee. Perspective husbands would judge a woman's merits based on the taste of her coffee. For both men and women, coffee has been at the center of
political and social interaction.
During the Ottoman period, women socialized with each other over coffee and sweets.Men socialized in coffee houses to discuss politics and to play backgammon. In the early 16th century, these coffee houses played host to a new form of satirical political and social criticism called shadow theater in which puppets were the main characters. Over the years, Macedonian coffee houses have become social institutions providing a place to meet and talk .Today in Macedonia, traditional Macedonian coffee continues its role in society as a meeting reason for both the cultured citizen and the inquisitive traveler. Macedonia offers many new and delightful cafe-restaurants where friends and family meet to discuss topics of the day over a cup of traditional Macedonian coffee. Derived from the Arabica bean, Macedonian coffee is a very fine, powder-like grind. An aromatic spice called cardamom is sometimes added to the coffee while it is being ground, but it is not usual part of the coffee here in Macedonia . One can also boil whole seeds with the coffee and let them float to the top when served. Macedonian coffee has six levels of sweetness ranging from very sweet to black. Since sugar is not added to the coffee after it is served, spoons are not needed. As the coffee begins to heat, it begins to foam. A rule of the Macedonian coffee ceremony dictates that if the foam is absent from the face of the coffee, the host loses face. Macedonian coffee is served hot from a special coffee pot called dzezve. Tradition states that after the guest has consumed the coffee and the cup is turned upside down on the saucer and allowed to cool, the hostess then performs a fortune reading from the coffee grounds remaining in the cup. Rich in tradition and flavor, Macedonian coffee remains a favorite Macedonian drink even today.