Turkish tea

Turkish tea (Lang-tr|çay) is a type of tea that is drunk by most people living in the Turkic speaking world, the Arabic-speaking world,Fact|date=April 2008 and the Horn of Africa. Moreover, it is drunk in Iran, Tajikistan, and Western China or Chinese TurkistanFact|date=March 2008 Turkish tea is more popular than Turkish coffee among younger people in Turkey.


Turkish tea, called "çay", a form of black tea, is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. Turkish tea is typically prepared using two stacked kettles ("çaydanlık") especially designed for tea preparation. Water is brought to a boil in the larger lower kettle and then some of the water is used to fill the smaller kettle on top and steep several spoons of loose tea leaves, producing a very strong tea. When served, the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual basis, giving each consumer the choice between strong (Lang-tr|koyu; literally "dark") or weak (Lang-tr|açık; literally "light"). Tea is drunk from small glasses to enjoy it hot in addition to show its colour, with lumps of beetroot sugar. To a lesser extent than in other Muslim countries, tea replaces both alcohol and coffee as the social beverage.

Within Turkey, the tea is usually known as Rize tea. Virtually all of the tea is produced in the Rize province, a Turkish province on the Black Sea coast.

In 2004 Turkey produced 205,500 tonnes of tea (6.4% of the world's total tea production), which made it one of the largest tea markets in the world [http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2005/105404/index.html World tea production reaches new highs ] ] Furthermore, in 2004, Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world, at 2.5 kg per person--followed by the United Kingdom (2.1 kg per person). [http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=208] Second biggest Tea Market in the World]


The Turks evolved their own way of making and drinking the black tea which became a way of life for Turkish culture. Wherever people go in Turkey, tea or coffee will be offered as a sign of friendship and hospitality, at homes, bazaars and restaurants, before or after a meal.

Despite its popularity, tea became the widely consumed beverage of choice in Turkey relatively recently, in the 1930s. The nation's founder, Atatürk, encouraged tea as an alternative to Turkish coffee, which had become expensive and at times unavailable in the aftermath of World War I. Coffee had to be imported, mainly from Brazil, whereas tea was easily sustainable domestically. Turkish tea is full-flavored and too strong to be served in large cups, thus it is always offered in small tulip-shaped glasses which are usually held by the rim, in order to save the drinker's fingertips from being burned, as the tea is served boiling hot. Turkish tea drinkers often add sugar, but milk is not traditional. Turkish tea may be served either lighter (weaker) or darker (stronger) depending on the drinker's taste, as Turkish tea is made by pouring some very strong tea into the glass, then diluting it with hot water to the desired strength. Serious tea-drinking people (generally Turks) usually go to a coffee and tea house where they serve it with a samovar ( _tr. semaver) or urn, so they can refill their glasses themselves as much as they want.

When the Turks lost Mocha city in Yemen, coffee became an expensive import, and Turks turned to tea.

Turkish herbal tea

In Turkey, herbal teas are also popular, with apple ("elma çayı"), rose hip ("kuşburnu çayı"), and linden flower ("ıhlamur çayı") being the most popular flavors. [http://www.turkishtaste.com/teanadcoffees.html] Sage tea ("ada çayı", also called "island tea") is most popular in the Mediterranean coastal region.

ee also

* Samovar
* Ayran
* Turkish coffee
* Salep
* Boza


External links

* [http://www.allaboutturkey.com/tea.htm Turkish tea page] from All About Turkey site
* [http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/details/Food/TurkishTea.html Turkish tea page]
* [http://www.turkishcook.com/turkishfood/Turkish_Tea_1.shtml Turkish Tea] at TurkishCook.com

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