Armenian Jazzve

Jazzve, copper or steel, to brew coffee
Jazzve, copper or steel, to brew coffee

 You will find a jazzve in every Armenian home. Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles where Armenians immigrated en masse, every household had a jazzve with a story. They are prized possessions that make the one-way journey to America. In the 80s and 90s, you couldn’t be sure where you would find one again. Or where you could get coffee ground to a near powder for the ritual brew of surch (the serving of coffee): a tablespoon per person, a touch of sugar, water, and a boiling point that will destroy your stove if you don’t pay attention. Now, you can find a jazzve in every gift shop and Armenian qofe (coffee) on restaurant menus owned by first generation Armenians. Surch is a communal activity. They’ll tell you it tastes best when it’s made by daughters. It's enjoyed in two or four ounce cups, after dinner, with dessert, around the dinner or coffee table. It’s when the evening’s conversation comes to a close. When our fathers and uncles sober up after rounds of drinks. When our mothers and aunts complain about hypertension as they down another cup. It’s our ritual reminder of what we left behind. When I left my parents’ house, I went a good 10 years without a jazzve of my own. Now, I can’t imagine not having one. One day, I will bring my family away from family around a dinner table and serve them as I once served my loved ones. 

Place(s): Armenia, Los Angeles, New York
Year: 1988

– Tatevik Garibyan

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child