We first reported to you about Petra Roasting Company at the beginning of this year, in January 2015. Now their second location has opened its doors, located in the Turkish seaside village of Alaçati, on the western coast of Çeşme, İzmir Province.
Alaçatı is an Aegean beach town whose popularity seems to grow each year. So far this beautiful place has been able to maintain its identity as one of the most authentic old towns in Turkey, complete with stone houses, narrow stone streets, and vineyards and windmills that date back more than 150 years. More recently the city is home to a few stylish boutique hotels, filled up with well-heeled tourists from Turkey and across Europe.
Alaçatı's “hip factor” was cemented in the late 80s by a gaggle of German surfers, naturally, who prized the town's beaches for their steady winds and shallow waters (perfect conditions for surfing). Since then the town has become well-known in the worlds of windsurfing and kitesurfing, with numerous international events taking place every year.
A summer destination for local and international tourists, Alaçatı has also proved itself as an eclectic destination for foodies as well. Among many great restaurants like Asma Yaprağı (Aegean cuisine) and Alancha (molecular gastronomy meets local produce), Istanbul’s award-winning roastery Petra has made the Hacı Memiş district its home as the village's only specialty coffee shop. Chatting with founder Kaan Bergsen, he told me the reason his brand chose Alaçatı was simple: for a place growing year by year, the village retains its character and spirit, a unique soul that Bergsen feels is well-matched with Petra’s style. To that end, their cafe here feels well-worn and loved, its architecture and interiors mostly untouched, with minimal furniture meant to blend with the character of the building.
Alongside a full coffee menu reminiscent of their menu in Istanbul, the team at Petra is meeting their new location's vacation vibes head-on by offering a raft of craft cocktails. This drinking menu makes use of the the vast availability of local and special ingredients found here on the Aegean coast. Fresh produce from the village bazaar each Saturday informs their daily menus, from drinks to snack pairings. Juleps change based on the herbs available that week, whether it be purple basil or fresh thyme. Cooler cobblers are made with the freshest (and sometimes strangest!) fruits they can get their hands on. One could spend an entire summer in the village—chilling and surfing—while drinking and eating a range of ever-changing specials at Petra.
But perhaps best of all, the cocktail menu at Petra offers a series of non-alcoholic “second looks” at each of the offered drinks, based around coffee as a substitution for alcohol. One of the most successful is Petra's “Espresso Julep”, in which they use the local mint (grown in the shop) alongside espresso, cinnamon bitters, and gomme syrup to create a cocktail with sweetness and complexity. Other classic coffee cocktails include “Coffee Negroni” (featuring a pomegranate seed extract for bitterness) and an “Espresso Tonic” made with local herbs and some help from their chef friends in the village.
Smart coffee cocktails in a seaside cafe on Turkey's Aegean coast. Sounds too good to be true? But the coffee here is every bit as great as the cocktails, making use of Petra's custom matte black La Marzocco Strada MP espresso machine, paired with gear from Marco, Ditting, and Anfim. They've even got a custom-built pour-over bar made by Atelier Altair Telian in Istanbul.
It's like an endless summer of coffee & cocktails at Petra Alaçati. Or at the very least, a summer you won't want to end.