The Queen City's favorite — and only — Turkish coffee shop will soon have a permanent pop-up location. Starting in September, Rüya Coffee will take over a room in Clifton's Rohs Street Cafe (245 W. McMillan St., Clifton) one day every month. The exact date and time for the first pop-up is yet to be determined.
You may be familiar with Rüya from its stint in People's Liberty's Globefront gallery in Findlay Market. Melissa Aydogan received a $15,000 grant from People's Liberty last year to bring her vision of a traditional Turkish coffeehouse to life. Since Rüya left the Globefront in November, the coffee shop has continued to pop-up at locations around town, from Newport's Carabello Coffee to Pendleton's 3 Points Urban Brewery and, most recently, at Camp Washington's Welcome Project, a social enterprise that seeks to support recent refugees and immigrants.
The new stint at Rohs, however, will give Rüya a consistent space.
"Right now I'm just popping up around and I have wholesale clients and I do direct-to-consumer with my product, but the full experience is just, 'I pop up here and there,' " Aydogan says. "Having that consistent place where I will be from a certain time on a certain day every month will be huge because people keep asking for it."
If you have yet to try a Turkish cup o' joe, the method in which it is brewed is a unique one that traces back to the 16th century — making it the oldest method known. Using an ibrik — a pot with a long handle — you first boil very fine grounds. The key to a good cup? Getting the foam just right.
“The foam at the top is a very important part of Turkish coffee," Aydogan explained in a previous interview with CityBeat. "As soon as the coffee starts bubbling up, (it’s) making sure that it gets to the very edge of the ibrik and then turning down the heat and then pouring it into the cup.”
The result is a dark, unfiltered, thick and bitter concoction. (If you want a touch of sweetness, make sure to request the sugar, as it's added prior to the brewing process.)
Once you're finished sipping your brew, don't leave: Turn your cup upside down on the saucer, place your fingers on the cup's back and let the remaining grounds slide down the mug. As is tradition, Aydogan will then read the grounds and offer a fortune.
As Aydogan previously told CityBeat upon Rüya's initial opening, her coffee shop is about fostering community and creating a space for people to understand and learn about Turkish culture. “It really comes down to what the Turkish coffee culture is about, which is friendship and hospitality and the fact that, you know, we care about the person sitting across from us. It just shows that the values of our culture are really about relationships.
For additional information, visit ruyacoffee.com.