The coffee tradition of the Crimean Tatars was added to the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine

Oleksandra Amru

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy added the coffee tradition of the Crimean Tatars to the list of intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine.

This was reported to the Ministry of Culture.

The spread of this tradition is directly related to the places of residence of the Crimean Tatar people on the territory of Ukraine, the department noted. The majority of Crimean Tatars live in the Russian-occupied territory of Crimea. However, they also live in Kyiv region, Kherson region, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Poltava, Lutsk, Melitopol, Dnipro, Drohobych.

Crimean Tatars have always been famous for their hospitality. For a long time, they believed that the righteous Khydir, who travels the world under the guise of a stranger, can choose any home to rest. Therefore, this people is convinced that every guest should be respectfully greeted and helped on the way, because his visit will certainly bring happiness and luck to the family.

Fragrant and strong coffee has been an iconic symbol of Crimean Tatar hospitality since ancient times. It is traditionally served with granulated sugar and shortbread cookies. However, sugar is not added to coffee. Instead, it is drunk with finely chopped milk sugar or hard home-made sugar.

To prepare Crimean Tatar coffee, roasted coffee beans are first finely ground in a hand grinder, then poured into a heated copper kettle, if desired, a few grains of salt are placed at the bottom of the kettle and poured with cold water. The approximate ratio is one full teaspoon of ground coffee per cup of water.

The jezva is placed on coals, hot sand or a stove, the coffee is brought to a boil until a thick and fragrant foam appears — this means that the drink is ready. When a mother or grandmother teaches her daughter to make coffee, they say that the coffee should be "scared" — that is, remove it from the heat immediately as soon as the foam rises above the top of the pot, but do not boil the drink. It requires concentration and attention.

Coffee is served in small coffee cups on a saucer. First, coffee foam is poured into a cup, and then coffee is poured into it.

Crimean Tatars also have their traditional recipes for making coffee with milk or cream. Cream for coffee is prepared in the evening — boil whole fresh milk for 5-7 minutes, put in a cool place, cover with a lid, and after 12 hours, remove the cream with milk foam from the milk.

When the milk is boiled, it is stirred several times with a ladle in a special way so that the foam is lush and high. As a result, a cream 1-1.3 centimeters thick is formed, it is carefully removed and transferred to a separate dish with a small amount of milk at the bottom and stored in the refrigerator.

When coffee with cream is served, the drink itself is first poured into the cup, and a teaspoon of cream is placed on top. Hot coffee softens it, and the drink acquires a soft, creamy taste.

Most often, coffee is prepared and served by young family members (daughter-in-law or older daughters).

  • Recently, the Ministry of Culture added as many as four items to the National List of Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ukraine — in addition to the Crimean Tatar coffee tradition, the list includes: the traditions of preparing and consuming "Zozuli" porridge in Vinnytsia; the tradition of making grout in the village of Kryva Luka in Donetsk region and the traditional dance of the Crimean Tatars Agyrava ve Kaitarma.