Welcome & Merhaba!
Turkish Coffee Lady is an authentic gourmet coffee business continuing a 500-year-old tradition of bringing people together and building friendships. It is the first and only authentic gourmet coffee business in the U.S. with the mission of building a global community of coffee lovers.
At Turkish Coffee Lady, we make sure that each guest feels the friendly embrace of Turkish hospitality, renowned across the world. Guests are immersed in Turkish coffee house culture and for those taken by its charm, we also sell vintage goods from Istanbul, where coffee house culture has flourished since 1554.
Located at the prestigious Tysons Corner Center shopping mall since 2017, Turkish Coffee Lady café offers authentic Turkish coffee, herbal teas, gourmet desserts such as baklava, traditional sweets like Turkish delights, award-winning coffee makers and sophisticated gift items.
This one-of-a-kind coffee shop also offers fortune reading sessions for guests every Sunday, a traditional Turkish ritual going back hundreds of years. Monthly social and educational events bring local communities together through cross-cultural activities, as well as highlight the success stories of female entrepreneurs.
Our business also provides experiential coffee and dessert catering services at selected events in the Washington DC metro area. Our coffee shop is located in Tysons Corner Center mall (Ground floor, Lord & Taylor Court).
Turkish Coffee Lady is a woman-led business. It is committed to building friendships one coffee at a time and to inspiring female entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.
Thank you for visiting our site, and we hope to see you at our authentic coffee shop soon!
Meet the Turkish Coffee Lady: Gizem Salcigil White
Meet our founder and CEO, the Turkish Coffee Lady, Gizem Şalcıgil White, a Turkish American mother and entrepreneur with a unique mission: to create a global community of explorers and coffee lovers.
In 2012, with a group of dedicated volunteers on board, Gizem set off around the globe in the world’s first authentic Turkish Coffee Truck.This adventure of a lifetime was driven by a vision – that the exquisite tradition of Turkish coffee could bring people of all walks of life together.
Through her cultural diplomacy initiative, White and a group of dedicated volunteers traveled across America, Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Canada over the past six years.
Gizem’s one-of-a-kind cultural diplomacy project made the headlines of major international publications including The Washington Post, Washingtonian, PRI/BBCand her fans started calling her the “Turkish Coffee Lady”. The name stuck – and the rest is history. In May 2012, the Turkish Coffee Lady was honored by the U.S. Congress for fostering friendship between the Turkish and American peoples through their shared love of coffee.
The project also received the Cultural Sustainability Award by Istanbul Tourist Guides Union in 2014. Gizem was named as one of the Top Young Outstanding Persons of Turkey in the culture category in 2015 by JCI International, and was awarded as one of 40 Under 40 Most Influential Turkish Americans by Turk of America magazine in March 2017. She has been donating her time and energy to the Turkish-American community in D.C. since 2009. She served as the president of American Turkish Association of Washington DC (ATA-DC) for four years. Washingtonians will recognize ATA-DC as the group that organizes the annual Turkish Festival every year in the heart of the capital.
Originally from Ankara, Turkey, Gizem is passionate about promoting 500-year old Turkish coffee culture and empowering women. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and baby girl.
The Importance of Turkish Coffee Culture
Turkish coffee is unique. It is ground to an exquisitely fine powder – one that allows the full flavor of the coffee to emerge. The distinctive character of the drink comes from this fine grinding, giving rise to a velvety froth, satisfying mouth feel and unique fragrance.
Turkish coffee has a 500-year old history, an inspiring culture, and rich traditions. It is the world’s oldest coffee brewing method. The first coffee house was opened in Istanbul in the 16th century. Turks introduced coffee, prepared their way to Europe, and later it came to the Americas. In 2015, Turkish coffee was admitted to the "UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List" as a living heritage that was passed on by communities from generation to generation. There is a famous saying that goes “Bir kahvenin kırk yıl hatırı vardır - A cup of Turkish coffee is remembered with appreciation for 40 years” which means offering a cup of coffee binds a long lasting friendship.
Turkish Coffee is the name given to a type of coffee whose preparation and brewing techniques were invented by the Turks. It has a unique taste, froth, aroma, brewing technique, and presentation… in other words it has its own identity and tradition.
The first coffee was made in the Arabian Peninsula by boiling coffee cherries. The new method invented by the Turks revealed coffee’s true flavor and peerless aroma. The Turks introduced coffee to Europe where for many years it was prepared and consumed as Turkish coffee.
Turkish Coffee is made from high quality Arabica coffee beans from Central America and Brazil that are blended and carefully roasted, then very finely ground. The coffee is mixed with water and the desired amount of sugar and cooked in a “cezve”, or Turkish coffeepot. The coffee is served in small cups. The coffee is unfiltered and must be left to stand for a short time after serving to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup.
Istanbul was introduced to coffee in 1517 by Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen, who had grown to love the drink while stationed in that country.
The Turkish public became acquainted with coffee through the establishment of coffeehouses. The first coffeehouse opened in the district of Tahtakale in 1554 and others rapidly cropped up all over the city. Coffeehouses and coffee culture soon became an integral part of Istanbul social culture; people came here throughout the day to read books and beautiful texts, play chess and backgammon, and discuss poetry and literature.
As coffee became a staple in palace cuisine as well as in private homes, its consumption increased dramatically. The raw beans were roasted in pans and then ground in mortars. The coffee was then brewed in cezves and served with great care to esteemed friends.
Thanks to the efforts of merchants and travelers who passed through Istanbul, and even Ottoman ambassadors, Turkish coffee’s renown soon spread to Europe and ultimately to the whole world.