For Some Israelis, "Turkish Coffee" Leaves a Bitter Taste
In Israel, coffee served with sludgy grounds at the bottom of the cup (akin to Turkish coffee, although prepared with less ceremony) is known as "botz," which literally means "mud."
But to make this "muddy" hot beverage, one has to start with finely-ground beans that are typically sold under the name "Turkish Coffee," which -- considering the sorry current state of Turkey-Israel realations, which has have only gotten after the recent Israeli operation in Gaza -- is leaving some Israelis with a bad taste in their mouth.
As the Israeli Ha'aretz reports, some coffee drinkers in Israel have started a campaign to get Elite, the company that produces Israel's leading brand of Turkish coffee, to stop calling its product by that name. From Ha'aretz:
Channel 2 reports that an Israeli woman recently wrote a Facebook status reading, "I call on Elite [Israel's leading coffee maker] to change the name of its coffee to black coffee. I really have no use for anything Turkish these days." Turkey supported Hamas during Israel's just-adjourned war with Gaza, and the leader of its Islamic-oriented government, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, doesn't hesitate to vent his antagonism at the Jewish state.
"The time has come to change the name of the coffee to black/Israeli/tasty/wonderful or some other kind of coffee," wrote another Facebook poster. "Just not Turkish! This offends the sensibilities of the nation, which is liable to boycott the product!"….
….Strauss Group Ltd., the food conglomerate that owns Elite, heard from many offended Turkish coffee drinkers, and hurried to assure them that there's nothing Turkish about Elite Turkish coffee except the name. "It's important to note that the coffee is produced in Israel in the city of Lod," Strauss stated. "The name 'Turkish coffee' comes from the method used to grind the coffee beans, and not from the source of the beans, which come from countries such as Ethiopia, Columbia and Vietnam."
As previously discussed on this blog, just what to call the combination of finely-ground coffee beans and boiled water is a subject of great debate around the Mediterreanean and nearby regions, with Greeks, Cypriots, Armenians and others all laying claim to the liquid concoction. In that sense, the Israeli "boycott" on the name "Turkish coffee" is merely another twist in what has been a long-brewing story.