Istanbul cafe brewing the perfect cuppa for 111 years

AA Photo

A 111-year-old cafe in Istanbul's historic Grand Bazaar is adding to its rich heritage.

Ethem Tezçakar Kahveci serves thousands of cups of authentic Turkish tea and coffee every day from its tiny kiosk.

Customers sip the hot beverage perched on the tiny stools dotting the street outside.

Bekir Tezçakar, a civil engineer by profession, is trying to keep the family business alive.

"What is important for us is to transfer the trust and traditions of the family to the future generations," he said.

"I have lived with that purpose, tried to maintain it until today, and my only aim today is to transfer these cultural assets, to represent the family and society in the right way, and then take one step further to keep these traditions alive," he said, talking about the shop his family has been running for five generations.

He said they treat customers like guests.

"I never see this place like a coffee shop or a market, or a business. For us, people visiting us have never been customers, but they have always been guests. I have only strived to represent my family and myself as a small part of the Grand Bazaar in the right way, without seeking any favors from the professions, titles, and careers of the [customers]."

Their shop started in 1909, the date written on their business card. They also have a receipt dating back to the Ottoman era.

It was opened by his great great grandfather who arrived in Istanbul from the northeastern province of Erzincan in the late 19th century.

"My great grandfather, particularly my grandfather and later my father, each of them spent a lot of effort [in running the shop], but, it is my father Ethem Tezçakar, who made the greatest effort in the most troublesome period, bringing this place to its current glory," Tezçakar told Anadolu Agency.

"The Grand Bazaar is a cultural and historical monument and a shopping galore. We never felt that this place belongs to us, we always took it for granted," he added.

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