Even though I am not a coffee drinker (I consider myself more of a tea person), I like to try a good cup of coffee once in a while. I really liked the coffee I tried in Rome some time ago and was looking forward to trying a Turkish variety.
It might come as a surprise to you but finding a good cup of Turkish coffee in Turkey can sometimes be very difficult. All too often it is thin and watery, rather than thick and viscous.
I doubt we would have ever found a proper place on our own, but luckily we had a local friend to turn to.
A small coffee place tucked in a narrow street in the Asmali area of Beyoglu was exactly what we were looking for. It is called Mandabatmaz and has been serving coffee since 1967. The name of the place could supposedly be roughly translated into “so thick even a water buffalo wouldn’t sink in it.” And that is just what the brew made here is like.
The brewmaster of the place has been doing it for the last 21 years. They have a blend of coffee delivered to them that has been blended and roasted especially for them. The blend itself is a carefully kept family secret.
The coffee is really thick and strong. As I have been told, you should constantly swirl the coffee cup in your hand not to let the thick stuff sink to the bottom. This should allow you to finish it all.
Not being a coffee drinker I must admit I had trouble drinking it all. Italian coffee varieties with some milk are definitely closer to my taste. If coffee is totally not your thing, you should perhaps try a glass of freshly made tea instead. It is also supposed to be very good.
I definitely recommend this place, but you should not expect exemplary service or an extensive menu. However, a genuine experience is guaranteed.
You can expect to pay around 3TL for a cup of coffee.