Drink It In

a coffeehouse

a coffeehouse

Coffeehouses are a cultural, social tradition centuries old that crosses continents. The first coffeehouse is believed to have opened in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1555 as quoted by Ibrahim Pecevi:

“Until the year 962 [1555], in the High, God-Guarded city of Constantinople, as well as in Ottoman lands generally, coffee and coffee-houses did not exist. About that year, a fellow called Hakam from Aleppo and a wag called Shams from Damascus came to the city; they each opened a large shop in the district called Tahtakale, and began to purvey coffee.

As I open the door to La Spiaza, I drink in the aroma of coffee and am immersed in this social place serving up all types of caffeine beverages pressed, dripped and blended. A coffeehouse is much more than just a place selling espresso, it’s where philosophy is discussed, conversations are shared, and music or comedy acts may appear.

“In England, coffeehouses were dubbed penny-universities, because for the admission price of one cent, a person could sit and be edified all day long by scholars, merchants, travelers, community leaders, gossips, and poets.” Leah Hager Cohen author of Glass, Paper, Beans: Revelations on the Nature and Value of Ordinary Things

This particular coffeehouse hosts music nights with new bands (Falling Slowly or Tiny Folk are just a few of the musical acts from La Spiaza viewable on vimeo.com) providing them an intimate stage in a neighborhood place to perform.  Local artists work adorns the walls lit by lighting hanging from the tin-pressed ceiling.  There are bookshelves in front and back of the cafe with books and board games.

While my beverage was brewed up, I watch people play cribbage, surf the Internet and read books. I receive inspiration from historical figures’ quotes on coffee that are written on the restroom wall.

mirror, mirror on the wall which is the best coffee quote of all

mirror, mirror on the wall which is the best coffee quote of all

power of coffee quote

power of coffee quote

Beecher quote

Beecher quote

I sip my hot foamy caffeine drink as I steep in the casual, brewed cultural tradition all around me.

If you are interested in reading about more traditions, visit Where’s My Backpack Travel theme: Tradition.

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7 responses to “Drink It In

  1. Wonderful, c & c, you’re talking to another coffee addict here. I was going to ask you where you found those wonderful quotes about coffee – were they all taken from the bathroom walls? What an ingenious idea to cover the walls with the graffiti you want rather than waiting for some vandal to come along and set their own tone.

  2. Lovely tradition and clever idea with the quotes on the walls.
    One of my favourite past-times when in the city is hanging out with friends at a coffee houses:-)

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