Brewing methods galore at Drip Coffeeist

On January 3, Drip Coffeeist opened its newest location in Asmalımescit, in the heart of Beyoğlu. My first trip to Drip Coffeeist was a visit to its original location right off of Bağdat Caddesi. My friend Fatma introduced me to Drip Coffeeist’s cold drip and brownies and I was won over.

A new location in Asmalımescit means all the goodness of the original location is now more easily accessible for those of us living on the European side. Drip Coffeeist’s diehard customers had encouraged, in fact, pushed the owners to open another location on the European side. And when your first coffee shop is as successful as Drip Coffeeist’s, why not?


Wall art at Drip Coffeeist in Asmalımescit

Like most coffee shops in Istanbul, customers have a variety of brewing systems to choose from, but unlike the other shops, Drip Coffeeist has perhaps the largest selection of different brewing methods. Imagine my surprise when the owner pointed out a brewing system I had never seen before.

That’s right, I’m talking about the Belgian syphon, not to be confused with the Japanese syphon, which is commonly referred to as the syphon in Istanbul’s third wave coffee shops. The Belgian syphon, or Royal Belgian Coffee Maker is – like its name – very royal-looking. Unlike the vertical Japanese syphon, the Belgian one works through a balance mechanism (for the full details, click here)  With a short brew time, the historical device is perfect for those who prefer a stronger body without the wait. Drip Coffeeist was one of the very first to use the king of coffee makers in Istanbul and so far, it’s the only coffee shop I am familiar with that is currently offering this brewing mechanism.


The king of coffee makers

In the summer, the drink of choice at Drip Coffeeist is the cold brew, and it is indeed, very good; after all, it’s the drink that peaked my interest in interviewing Drip Coffeeist. The baristas at Drip brew their cold drip in the Kyoto-style meaning water drips drop by drop down the chambers to saturate the coffee grounds (for more details, click here). The process is extremely time intensive but the end product is worth it. Bottles of freshly brewed cold coffee can be purchased from Drip Coffeeist’s cold case and taken home to enjoy.


Japanese-style cold brew mechanism


Grab & go cold brew

If this all seems rather overwhelming, the baristas are happy to give customers a short briefing on the various beans and brewing methods in order to help them select the best combination. While chatting with the owner, I had a feeling that if you attempted all the varieties of beans and roasting methods, you would never be able to get through them all, and yet he reassured me that after 3 or 4 tries, most people find the perfect combination for their taste.

Drip Coffeeist uses single-origin beans, purchased in green bean form from suppliers in Istanbul. The beans are then roasted at Drip Coffeist’s Bağdat Caddesi location according to the particular brewing methods they will be used for. This process ensures that Drip Coffeeist controls and oversees the entire process, from green bean to the customer’s coffee cup. The best beans? El Salvador for espresso and Sumatra for brewing.


Choose the beans for your perfect cup

So there you have it, go pick out your perfect combo at Drip Coffeeist. I tried a pour over with the Ethiopian beans and it was delish.


Visit Drip Coffeeist in Asmalımescit

Drip Coffeeist’s Asmalımescit location can easily be reached from Tünel, Şişhane metro, or Istiklal Caddesi, and is located on the same street as the Adahan Hotel.

Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi,General Yazgan Sokak, No 9/A, Beyoğlu, İstanbul


A coffee break in Istanbul’s Old City

The place: Brew Coffeeworks
The offerings: Coffee & baked goods
Price range: 5-8 TL for coffee and espresso drinks
The pros: Strong coffee & funky decor with blue accents
The cons: Located in the old city, the clientele is mostly tourists

Normally, we don’t go to the Old City – it’s far too crowded and touristy for our taste. We only cross the Karakoy bridge unless we have a specific mission in mind – such as buying baking utensils in the bazaar, begging the Fatih Emniyet for my residence papers, or trying a new restaurant (the last one in Fatih was a major fail – #thanksbutnothanks Anthony Bourdain and his Turkey Youtube video). This Sunday, however, we had a mission and that was to help our roommates find new bikes. Gurkan had the bike know-how and I was just there for moral support, and of course, to help Nazli find a snazzy basket for hers.

Before even making our way to the Eminonu bike shops, we chanced upon Brew Coffeeworks, a cafe I remember one of our guests had mentioned he had found while touring. He had said that it was a nice place but in a strange location, and he couldn’t have been more on point. In the midst of unsupervised children, squawking pigeons, and haggling bazaar sellers, Brew Coffeeworks is a beacon in the chaos. Located in the same building as the Ottoman Legacy Hotel, I imagine the clientele is mostly made up of tourists either staying at the hotel or following their tour books to the Spice Bazaar and fish stands of Eminonu.

At first, we wavered about whether we should go in (we were after all on a mission and we had already agreed to eat at Cigkofteci Ali Usta if we were able to find it), but the cafe’s cool blue inside was welcoming and I hadn’t had my morning cup of coffee, so I nudged the others and they soon followed. Surprisingly, the cafe was also completely empty except for another table of two ladies. If the cafe wasn’t located in the Old City, but rather, somewhere in Taksim or Besiktas, I have no doubt it would have been packed. With Wi-Fi available and a decent amount of seating, it is a perfect place to study or work, but given its present location, people probably pop in to take a quick breather after visiting the Spice Bazaar.

Between the four of us, we ordered a few iced lattes and an iced americano for me. In the summer, cold press iced coffee is my drink of choice, but very difficult to find in Istanbul, so an iced americano is a fairly good substitute. We were pleased to find the expresso drinks at Brew Coffeeworks good and strong (none of that fake coffee masquerading as espresso in this joint). Besides the espresso, I really liked the funky blue accents – from the bright blue ceiling, to the blue accented photos, and even the blue display book about Şile cloth (which I mentioned in my last post about Şile), the concept was well executed and the cafe a welcome respite from the chaos of the Old City.


Cafes in Cape Town & Zurich and a recently opened one in Izmir as well.


Funky decorations with bright blue accents.


Ample sitting space to study or work


Iced Americano (not a cold press iced coffee, but honestly, a close second)


I didn’t try the baked goods, but they looked awfully delish

Keeping it hipster cool at Karabatak Cafe

The place: Karabatak Cafe in Karakoy
The offerings: coffee, tea, dessert (full menu here)
Price range: 5-10 TL for coffee drinks; 12-15 TL for dessert
The pros: Great customer service and atmosphere, English-speaking waitstaff
The cons: Can’t purchase coffee by the lb/kg late in the evenings
Fun fact: Kabatak is the Turkish word for the cormorant bird, often seen on the Bosphorus

On Friday night, we decided to venture over to Karakoy, a neighborhood caught in what seems to be an eternal transitional period.  Once known for its seedy brothels, it’s now the site of hipster cool cafés and chic restaurants. We were recently at Bej – also in Karakoy – for my company’s holiday party and during grad school, I would sometimes attend weekend classes at Sabanci University’s Karakoy building. This time our destination was Karabatak cafe, recommended to me by one of my colleagues. The goal – to get some new coffee for my French press.

After grabbing a bite to eat at Namli Gurme in Karakoy, we set off to find Karabatak. All I knew was that it was by Bej, and sure enough, after only a couple wrong turns, we found it tucked away in a side street. Right when we walked in, we were greeted by several employees all who wanted to help us find a place to sit, and who surprisingly, all seemed to speak fluent English. We settled for a spot by the door right under the bike (see pic below), and took a look at the menu. We both ordered lattes  – the cafe serves Julius Meinl coffee, an Austrian brand – which had come highly recommended. Since it was already 8 p.m. by the time we arrived, the cafe had already run out of most of their desserts (including the cheesecake and brownie) so we settled on a latte cake to share. Again, the waitstaff was super helpful and explained the different options and apologized for having so few selections.

The service was quick and we were soon enjoying our lattes which were delicious and the cake which was not as delicious. I didn’t have high expectations for the dessert because I generally don’t like Turkish cake, so honestly, it wasn’t a surprise – I just wish there had been some cheesecake left!

While sipping my coffee, I had a chance to take a better look at my surroundings, and I had the slightest feeling that I might be somewhere else, maybe Portland or Wicker Park. There was definitely a hipster vibe going on.  The main room had a tractor which doubled as a low coffee table and supported the espresso machine. The walls were all brick with various decorations including vintage coffee paraphernalia. The atmosphere was low-key and backstreet Istanbul cool. From what I’ve heard since visiting, the place has become a bit of a tourist destination, but to me, it didn’t have an overly commercial feel to it.

The only drawback was that it was too late to purchase coffee by the pound which was one of the main reasons for visiting. Not a major problem though since I am already looking forward to stopping by again, probably on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon after exploring Cukurcuma, another one of my new favorite pastimes.



How to get there: Take the tram to the Karakoy stop and then take Mumhane Caddesi. Karabatak is on a side street right off of Mumhane Caddesi and its sign can be seen from the main road.