Lots of sugar? Medium sugar? No sugar? Customers at a new Turkish coffee shop that celebrated its grand opening Saturday in the U.S. state of Virginia will need to quickly learn the intricacies of how to order their coffee, as sugar is not something to be added after the fact.
The Turkish Coffee Lady serves Turkish coffee, Turkish delights, pastry, herbal teas and baklava as well as touting gift items and coffee artwork at 1001 King St. in Old Town, the historic center of Virginia’s Alexandria.
The coffee shop owned by a Turkish American female entrepreneur is the first in Old Town to have the title of Turkish coffee business.
Owner Gizem Şalcıgil White launched her first initiative to promote Turkish coffee in 2009, despite naysayers who discouraged her saying Turkish coffee would not gain traction.
“People like Turkish coffee so much and want to consume more but they cannot find it,” White told Anadolu Agency (AA). “We need to make Turkish coffee accessible.”
The coffee market is growing in the U.S. and beyond, and White believes now is the time to promote authentic Turkish coffee. “It has social, economic and cultural benefits,” she said.
Hasan Kale, a Turkish artist known for his miniature drawings of beautiful landscapes using tiny objects as canvas, is also part of the initiative to make Turkish coffee and its culture familiar in the U.S. In some artworks, he uses coffee and tiny brushes.
“We have begun a new trend regarding coffee,” said Kale. “Everything we do here will focus on Turkish coffee,we want to bridge the Turkish culture with others.”
The shop is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Turkish coffee was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list on Dec. 5, 2013. Since then, World Turkish Coffee Day is celebrated every year to promote Turkey’s 500-year-old coffee culture and its significant historical value while building cultural bonds.