Melissa Aydogan is the heart and soul of Rüya Coffee, a Turkish coffee pop-up at Findlay Market.
Aydogan is a 2018 recipient of a Peoples Liberty Globe Grant: a $15,000 grant given to groups or individuals with a goal of turning Peoples Libertys Findlay Market headquarters into a shared community space. This time around, it has been transformed into a traditional Turkish coffeehouse. The interior is decorated in rich shades of reds and oranges accented by velvet pillows, layered rugs and billowy chiffon draped from the ceiling. Families, couples and friendly strangers can find themselves nestled into cushioned benches or gathered around a big community table at the back of the shop.
A first-generation Turkish American and Cincinnati native (she works as an account executive at Procter & Gamble), Aydogan is using her grant project to share a piece of her familys heritage with her hometown.
Dating all the way back to the 16th century, Turkish coffee is the oldest brewing method of coffee in the world. Back in the day, as Aydogan says, the coffee was prepared in hot sand. Its still done today for the pure novelty of it, but a hot stove will do the job just fine. Aside from a heat source, all you need is water and coffee thats been ground to an ultra-fine powder. In this case, the coffee in question is a special blend created by local Deeper Roots Coffee specifically for Aydogans grant project.
For Aydogan, the goal of Rüya is simple: its all about fostering community. To understand Turkeys coffee is to understand some of the values of Turkish culture. Aydogan recalls one of many Turkish sayings about coffee: One does not desire coffee or a coffeehouse. One desires conversation and coffee is just an excuse.