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The Mesmerizing Story of Turkish Coffee at the 2023 DMV Chocolate and Coffee Festival

Join us at the Main Stage on Saturday, October 7th at 10:30AM or on Sunday, Oct 8th at 2:00PM for this amazing presentation by The Turkish Coffee Lady followed by an art demonstration by Hasan Kale!

Description of the Seminar: We have come to rely on our daily coffee, but do we really know coffee’s history and its development in the western world? Did you know that Turkish coffee is the first and oldest coffee brewing method?

Join us for an enriching seminar to learn about the Ottoman Empire’s role in introducing coffee to Europe 500 years ago and why the first Turkish coffee houses were called ''the school of the wise”. The seminar will include a presentation on Turkish coffee culture’s influence in world’s history, its unique brewing technique and how it has become as a world cultural heritage.

You will learn how to prepare authentic Turkish coffee and you'll also witness a coffee art demonstration by Hasan Kale, a world renowned artist.

Show up early to make sure you get a seat!!

About the Presenters:



Gizem Şalcıgil White, aka the Turkish Coffee Lady, is a Turkish American entrepreneur with a unique mission: to create a global community of explorers and coffee lovers. Gizem Şalcıgil White has been a goodwill ambassador for Turkish coffee culture since 2009 and is the founder of the award-winning non-profit Turkish Coffee Truck initiative. She is also the founder of the award-winning ‘Turkish Coffee Truck’, which promotes cultural diplomacy. Through this non-profit initiative, White and a group of dedicated volunteers traveled across America, Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Canada for eight years. Her inspiring work has been featured in many major news outlets including the Washington Post, Washingtonian, BBC, WJLA-TV, WUSA9, New York Times, and FOX5DC. Her fans started calling her the “Turkish Coffee Lady”. In May 2012, she was honored by the U.S. Congress for fostering friendship between Turkish and American people through their mutual love for coffee. In February 2014, Gizem received the "Cultural Sustainability Award" for her “Turkish Coffee Truck” project by Istanbul Tourist Guides Union. In November 2015, she was selected one of "Top Young Outstanding Persons 2015" in the culture category by JCI International. In March 2017, she was named as one of "Top 40 Most Influential Turkish Americans" by Turk of America Magazine. On March 11, 2021, she received the prestigious “Golden Compass Award” for her ‘2019 U.S. Turkish Coffee Truck Tour” by Turkey’s Public Relations Association, TUHID.

Gizem served as the president of American Turkish Association of Washington D.C. (ATA-DC) between 2013-2017. She also served as the Vice President of Capital Region for Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) for two years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Banking & Finance from Bilkent University and a master’s degree in Global Marketing Communication & Advertising from Emerson College, Boston. Her professional interests include nation branding and gastro/cultural diplomacy.

In 2017, she founded Turkish Coffee Lady, Inc; a woman-owned authentic gourmet coffee business dedicated to bridging cultures one coffee at a time. Turkish Coffee Lady’s culture house is located in Old Town, Alexandria VA. The authentic coffee house is a new take on the gourmet coffee experience combined with a timeless journey to Istanbul where East meets West.

On March 8, 2020, Gizem established the world’s first coffee diplomacy association, Turkish Coffee Lady Foundation, which is also committed to inspiring women entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and 7-year old daughter.



One of Turkey’s most famous and talented artists, Kale uses his miniature drawing talents for his paintings and tries to interpret miniature art with a contemporary eye. He paints on things we see, are exposed to, or ignore in our daily lives like a rice grain, a nail, a silk cocoon, a needle, or a butterfly wing. Kale considers these micro-works as a turning point for his career. “Things we usually see can turn into something invisible” he says and tries to call attention to that notion.

As the Sun newspaper wrote, the artist, one of the world's pioneers of "micro art", who started a new language as Turkey's "Microangelo", aims to share his knowledge and experience with his students through his domestic and international exhibitions to promote his art by winning new friends from different countries around the world, to create new original jewelry designs, to support the Turkish Chefs National Team in the Olympics in art, to make his own television programs on culture and art with micro art, to organize exhibitions and workshops to promote his country in art fairs abroad, and continues to take part in every pleasant project that has different fields.

Kale, by drawing onto micro objects, opens a new window and a perspective, builds up a new language in the art world. He is also showing effort to transfer his knowledge to new generations through seminars and conferences in universities and high schools and proliferate in micro art by adding new objects to old ones.

Besides micro-paintings, it is possible to observe miniature-drawing techniques’ tracks in his bigger canvases. In the paintings, he creates imageries with a miniature genre. The artist claims the essence of the aesthetics in art, with a detail-oriented look. His use of light reveals the romantic attempts of his art view. As a point of view, he feels more close to neo-classic and neo-orientalist art movements.

As a miniature master who was interested in every branch of painting, he brought the art of miniature to new formations in the 80s, learned the agility of the brush from Mehmet Siyah Kalem, the color and harmony from Levni, and the delicacy of sultan portraits from Nakkaş Osman. An extraordinary identity that sets out to find an answer to the question of how small the 25 lines that grabbed his attention within 1mm while doing a midnight brushwork in the mid-90s. He states that the breaking point of his life was at that moment. He is an artist who adds himself, his line and his soul to this art movement, which he calls "micro art", and produces countless works of art into those tiny objects from life and accepts himself as one of the pioneers of the world in this field. 28 years passed with an interesting philosophy, in his own words, "My goal is to open different windows to objects that we have not seen, ignored and sometimes called garbage, bringing different perspectives to them and to enable a brand-new spoken language to start all over the world."



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