Cincinnati's favorite Turkish coffee pop-up Rüya Coffee will be opening up shop in downtown's Contemporary Arts Center Fridays and Saturdays during the month of December. Aydogan
Rüya owner Melissa Aydogan will be collaborating with local watercolor artist Joya Logue to create and display mesmerizing visuals of Turkey, Aydogan's home country.
Rüya and its caffeine and culture was first presented to the Cincinnati area during a stint at People's Liberty's Globefront gallery in fall of 2018. Aydogan received a $15,000 grant from People's Liberty to bring her vision of a traditional Turkish coffeehouse to life.
Since Rüya left the Globefront in November 2018, the coffee shop has continued to pop-up at locations around town, from Newport's Carabello Coffee to Pendleton's 3 Points Urban Brewery, Rohs Street Cafe and at Camp Washington's Welcome Project, a social enterprise that seeks to support recent refugees and immigrants.
The CAC pop-up series will offer an experience reminiscent of her first location, but with a twist of something beautiful and new.
"Similar to where we started in Findlay Market with People's Liberty, we will have the most authentic Turkish coffee experience you will find complete with fortune reading of the coffee grounds," Aydogan explained in an email interview. "This time, instead of designing the space with used IKEA shelves and painting the walls with a couple of friends, I have the honor to transport visitors to Turkey through the beautiful visuals Joya will be creating and showcasing."
Aydogan admired Logue's way of bringing a piece of home to life for others to experience.
"I first approached Joya as a huge fan of her art. She told her story of her home in India through her watercolor art and I did it through a Turkish coffee experience, so there was an automatic connection of bringing a piece of our home away from home through our own respective creative ways. We are collaborating by reverse engineering that exact feeling of home for immigrants — bringing that exact feeling to life through the sights, smells and tastes through an art installation that satisfies all your senses," Aydogan explains.
Logue shared a similar appreciation for Aydogan's appreciation of home and sharing it with others.
"I am really moved by what Melissa has created through Rüya, and the Turkish coffee experience. It reminded me of the cherished tea time traditions shared at our family home in India. Similarly, my watercolor paintings are an extension of my multicultural language to be shared and celebrated within the community. I felt that our interest in creating an authentic experience representing our cultures was rooted in the same thought: welcoming others to experience it with us," Logue says.
From 5-9 p.m. on Friday nights and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays throughout December, Rüya Coffee can be found on the right-hand side of the CAC's lobby. To kick off the month-long event, they will host a party on Friday, Dec. 6 with Middle Eastern and Turkish music, Turkish-coffee-flavored dark chocolate and a Rüya coffee blend for sale, fortune telling with coffee grounds and, of course, plenty of Turkish coffee to sip on.