"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Thursday, 14 May 2009


A zarf is an ornamental metal cup-shaped holder for a hot coffee cup.

Although coffee was probably discovered in Ethiopia, it was in Turkey at around the 13th century that it became popular as a beverage. As with the serving of tea in China and Japan, the serving of coffee in Turkey was a complex, ritualised process. It was served in small cups without handles, which were placed in holders known as zarf (from the Arabic word, meaning saucer) to protect the cup and also the fingers of the drinker from the hot fluid. Cups were typically made of porcelain, but also of glass and wood, however since it was the holder that was more visible, it was typically more heavily ornamented.

A modern zarf is a little less impressive!


  1. Nobody in Starbucks, I guarantee you, knows that is a Zarf!!! Good one!
    I left you a crown on my blog!

  2. Thanks for the crown - and reading your posting I'm amazed how alike you and I are!