Petra Roasting Co. Petra Roasting Co.

Istanbul's third wave coffee shops

Fuelling Istanbul’s coffee obsession, one cup at a time

by

Writer

In a country where Turkish coffee has long been a top-selling commodity, the idea of a revival in Istanbul’s appreciation for the beverage might seem like a bizarre phenomenon. Yet, there’s no denying that the city’s coffee culture has undergone a major transformation in recent years. In many ways, the story behind Istanbul’s new-found admiration for third wave coffee – the idea that high-quality coffee should be approached as an artisanal product, not a commodity – is the familiar story of globalisation, one that has been in the making for over a decade.

kronotropKronotrop

The American coffeehouse company Gloria Jean’s Coffees opened its first Istanbul franchise as early as 1999, and it didn’t take long for others to follow suit. The international coffee behemoth Starbucks arrived in 2003, and a year later, Turkey launched its own speciality coffee brand, Kahve Dünyası. Look around any neighbourhood in Istanbul today and you’ll see that both brands are ubiquitous – in fact, the latter opened its first British franchise in 2012. As Istanbul’s coffee culture shifted – from the ever-present Turkish coffee to the appearance of instant Nescafé and, later, the lattes and cappuccinos offered up by international chains – the third wave coffee trend began to find a footing in the city. The front runner was a tiny shop called Kronotrop.

Related: Alternative tea houses in Istanbul

Kronotrop

Founded by coffee aficionado Çağatay Gülabioğlu, Turkey’s first micro-roastery Kronotrop opened its doors in early 2012, near the Galatasaray High School in Beyoğlu. It became instantly popular as the place where Turks were introduced to new terminologies like ‘cortado’ and ‘single origin.’ In fact, Kronotrop managed to amass such a large following that in early 2014, it was bought by famous Turkish chef Mehmet Gürs’ Istanbul Food & Beverage Group (IFBG). The IFBG’s first business decision was to relocate it to a larger space in Cihangir. Over the past year, it has gone on to open two more coffee bars in Istanbul, one in the business district of Maslak and the other in the tourist-centric Sultanahmet, as well as a roastery and training centre to fuel its on-going expansion.

Related: Where to find juice bars in Istanbul

Petra Roasting Co.

petraPetra Roasting Co.

Another of Istanbul’s third wave coffee pioneers is Petra Roasting Co. This speciality coffee haven was founded in 2013 by siblings Talisa and Kaan Bergsen: Kaan is head roaster and was a finalist in the World Coffee Roasting Championship held at the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe’s (SCAE) World of Coffee Rimini 2014 event. With such impressive credentials, it comes as no surprise that Petra procures the highest-quality beans from South America and Africa. The good news for those who can’t make it to Petra’s Gayrettepe location inside the Muse Istanbul gallery is that Petra coffee can be enjoyed in an ever-growing list of venues throughout the city, including prominent restaurants such as Lucca, Alancha and Gaspar, as well as its own kiosk open every day inside the Kanyon shopping mall.

Related: Top alternative tours in Istanbul

Ministry of Coffee

ministryMinistry of Coffee

As with any trend, third wave coffee has spawned its own league of backers. Nowadays, it’s relatively easy to find quality coffee in just about any Istanbul neighbourhood. One of our favourites remains Ministry of Coffee (MOC) Istanbul in Nişantaşı, a micro-roastery and barista training hub where you’ll find classic drinks as well as more exotic concoctions. MOC also opened a branch in Suada last summer, so if you happen to visit during the warmer months, it’s a prime destination for a cold brew.

Related: A film lover's guide to Istanbul

Cup of Joy

cupofjoyCup of Joy

Similarly, Cup of Joy has become a darling of Bebek locals and travellers thanks to coffees brewed with the help of accoutrements like the Syphon and the Aeropress, as well as beverages crafted with the cold drip method.

Related: Istanbul neighbourhood guide

Coffeetopia

coffeetopiaCoffeetopia

Last but not least, Coffeetopia in Eminönü beckons visitors looking to take a break from their sightseeing in the Old City with speciality coffee drinks as well as pastries and desserts.

1 Kronotrop
2 Petra Roasting Co.
3 Ministry of Coffee (MOC) Istanbul
4 Cup of Joy
5 Coffetopia