A zarf (plural: zarfs, zuruuf, zarves) is a holder, usually of ornamental metal, for a coffee cup without a handle (demitasse or fincan).
was probably discovered in Ethiopia
, it was in Turkey
at around the thirteenth century that it became popular as a beverage. As with the serving of tea
, the serving of coffee in Turkey
was a complex, ritual
ized process. It was served in small cups without handles (known as fincan
), which were placed in holders known as zarf
(from the Arabic
word ظرف ẓarf
, meaning "container, envelope") to protect the cup and also the fingers of the drinker from the hot liquid. Cups were typically made of porcelain
, but also of glass and wood. However, because it was the holder that was more visible, it was typically more heavily ornamented.