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Istanbul was introduced to coffee in 16. century during the reign of Kanunî Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent by Özdemir Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Yemen, who had grown to love the drink while stationed in that country.

Coffee soon became a vital part of palace cuisine and was very popular in court. The position of Chief Coffee Maker (kahvecibaşı) was added to the roster of court functionaries. The Chief Coffee Maker's duty was to brew the Sultan's or his patron's coffee, and was chosen for his loyalty and ability to keep secrets. The annals of Ottoman History record a number of Chief Coffee Makers who rose through the ranks to become Grand Viziers to the Sultan.

Coffee soon spread from the palace to grand mansions, and from grand mansions to the homes of the public. The people of Istanbul quickly became enamoured with the beverage. Green coffee beans were purchased and then roasted at home on pans. The beans were then ground in mortars and brewed in coffeepots known as "cezve".

Coffee's renown soon spread beyond the palace, grand mansions and homes.
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