Themed album “Zarfs” for International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day is celebrated on 1 October, the date set by the International Coffee Organization (ICO). It is the day, on which most producing countries begin harvesting their coffee beans.

The first coffee celebration was held in 1983 in Japan, after which other countries adopted the idea. It was celebrated on different days of the year, and it was only in 2014 that the International Coffee Organization established a single International Coffee Day. A year later, the first celebration took place in Milan. It is now celebrated in 75 countries.

The history of coffee dates back to ancient times and has roots in the first civilizations of the Middle East. Coffee traditions occupy an important place in the life of many peoples, and are an integral part of the culture of almost every country. Many eastern traditions are associated with coffee. Brewing delicious coffee was a valuable and important skill, and girls were taught the finer points of making coffee. The coffee ceremony itself differs from culture to culture in terms of the rituals used to brew coffee, the way it is served and the utensils used.

Zarfs are special stands without a handle for small porcelain fildzhan cups, which were popular in the Crimea, Turkey, Iran, India and other countries. Porcelain coffee cup is inserted into a cone-shaped stable stand, which protects the hands from the heat of the hot drink.

Zarfs can be made from wood, turtle shell, horn, ivory, clay, gold, silver, copper, brass and other metals. Zarf in Arabic means container, envelope.

The most widespread are zarfs made of metal. They are made in various forms, differ in technique of making and are adorned with various decorative details. Zarfs can be ornamented by filigree, granulating, embossing, notching, precious or ornamental stones, covered with vary-coloured enamel, niello; with the Baroque style patterns, foliage or flower motives; they can be decorated with flower vases or images of musical instruments. There are also examples with cutouts and twist-off bases.
The Western European Metal Artworks section of the museum Collection exposition features zarfs created by French and Swiss artisans in the early 19th century.

The thematic album "Zarfs" is posted in the museum Photo Gallery.

It is interesting that nowadays, a special holder-wrapper for a plastic cup of coffee, so as not to burn your hands, is called "zarf". This wrapper can have a variety of shapes and colors, and is made from various materials - paper, cardboard, plastic, even cloth. It can be both reusable and disposable, which is very convenient in use. Such a wrapper perfectly protects the skin of the hands from strong heat or even burns, makes it easy to bring a cup of coffee to the table or take it outside and drink calmly, without fear of getting burned.