Blog — Coffee Bars and Urban Life in Istanbul

Blog — Coffee Bars and Urban Life in Istanbul

From Kahvehane to Coffee Bar: Urban Life in Istanbul
by Jan Rath and Selin Kılıç (2018)

Coffee is abundant in Turkey today, not just in the form of türk kahvesi, the traditional Turkish coffee cooked with water in a special small pot with a long handle, but also that of espresso, cappuccino and the even more hip cold drip. A close observation of the coffee scene in Turkey, however, reveals considerable differentiations with regard to the products themselves, but also the aesthetics of coffee houses, the customers in these places and the sociability therein. Those differentiations seem to be associated with such factors as the branding, location and market position of the amenity, but also characteristics of the customers including gender, age, education, social class and lifestyle. As this blog will demonstrate, such differentiations represent different manifestations of urban life.

The blog briefly examines three types of coffee places in the megacity of Istanbul. This is our route: first, we will visit traditional coffee houses where Turkish coffee (but, much more frequently, tea) is being served, then we will stop by bigger coffee chains where cappuccino and latte are being made with modern machines, and finally, we will dive into small, artisanal and ecologically-friendly coffee bars where we enjoy cortado and V-60 filter coffee.

Click here for the full blog written by Jan Rath and Selin Kılıç in

A slightly revised version in the Dutch language is:
Rath, J. en S. Kılıç (2018) ‘Van kahvehane naar coffee bar: Stedelijk leven in Istanbul’, pp. 100-110 in F. Gerritsen and H. van der Heijden (eds), Standplaats Istanbul. Lange lijnen in de cultuurgeschiedenis van Turkije. Amsterdam: Jurgen Maas Uitgeverij.