Everyone in Turkey uses instant coffee. It’s an option as an on-board drink on any of Turkey’s national coach companies’ vehicles as well as being available in cafes and restaurants.
Just as in my youth, regardless of the manufacturer all vacuum cleaners were referred to as ‘Hoovers’, in Turkey today all instant coffee is spoken of as ‘Nescafe’. When travelling by bus, ask for a cup of instant coffee and you will be met with a blank face, ask for a Nescafe and you will be served immediately.
Perhaps it is because many Turks first encountered instant coffee on a busses that some make it in a way that seems to me to be wrong?
On a bus the attendant brings you a paper cup which is filled with hot water from a thermos. Later he gives you a sachet of instant coffee. In this way you can decide what strength of coffee you wish to drink, and the water in your cup can get cold even before it’s become coffee.
When I encountered this method on Turkish busses I never understood the logic of adding coffee to the hot water. I was even more surprised however when I discovered people serving me coffee this way in their homes.
Oya Soylu my mother-in-law always brings the Nescafe ingredients upon a tray. There is a small jar of instant coffee, a basin containing non dairy coffee creamer, a sugar basin of heart shaped brown sugar, and a spoon.
As an Englishman I detest this pretension preferring to add the steaming hot water and milk to the instant coffee powder. I’ve never found any non-dairy creamer an adequate substitute for cream, or milk. Indeed given a choice between powdered creamer and nothing at all, I’ll always take my coffee black.
Black instant coffee in Turkey is called: ‘sade Nescafe’. Sade Nescafe is pronounced sarday neskafay.
Yesterday at a shop called ‘Mudo Concept’ I saw on display some white porcelain cups in the shape of disposable paper ones. These were clearly manufactured with instant coffee in mind but are totally impractical. They do not stack like real paper cups, nor are they disposable. Moreover like paper cups they have no handle so it would be easy to burn your fingers.
You might be excused for thinking that I am being overly derisive of how Turkish people prefer their instant coffee. I don’t intend to be, it’s simply that instant coffee made in this way tastes wrong.
After a long overnight bus journey at 6.00 a.m. however, there is perhaps no finer drink than a plastic cup of lukewarm instant coffee made the Turkish way.
But then that’s a great reason to fly!