For many Istanbul is about its amazing views, the Bosphorus skyline, fresh fish and tasty kebabs. The hilly pathways and the amazing ambience of crossing the Bosphorus waters by ferry, the history, entertainment and of course the culture.
The culture in Istanbul is apparent everywhere.. and once thing that really sticks out is the culture of tea drinking. From the shopkeepers, to the shoe shiners, chestnut stalls, to the chic boutique shops.. Everyone, everywhere has one thing in common… they all drink tea.
Turkey produces over 6% of total tea production in the world. Not surprising considering how much Turks drink themselves. The main area of production for Turkish tea is Rize in the North Eastern area of Turkey.
The largest well known brand for Turkish tea production is Caykur, which is government owned and employs of 16.5 thousand people. You will mainly find this brand being served in many places, and the taste is the essence of Turkish tea.
Turkish tea ranges from the most popular black tea, which you find in most places to the more varied to apple tea, green tea, early grey and organic herbal tea which are available on request at most tea gardens and tea houses.
Loose leaf tea is used as a social element for day to day living in cafes, houses, and shops. The culture of offering tea to all guests, whether in a commercial environment or social environment still continues to this day.
Visit any street in Istanbul and you will sea the tea boy floating around from shop to shop, offering shop keepers and their guests’ fresh tea on request. Tea is seen as a sign of Turkish hospitality, and is a main social element of Turkish society. You can even have tea in local coffee houses around Turkey and there are even tea gardens, which are open gardens serving tea to locals.
So how do you serve your own Turkish tea?
- You need a caydanlik which has two pots.
- Stack them on top of each other.
- Place the tea leaves with a dash of water on the top pot
- Add water for boiling in the bottom.
- Once the water is boiled, half fill a small glass cup with the top tea leaf water
- Pour in the boiled water to the top of the glass.
- Add sugar to taste.
- Drink and refresh yourself.
If you kind find the tools to make a Turkish tea, then visit any Turkish restaurant, or coffee shop whether in Turkey or in the UK, and you will still be offered this refreshing drink. A symbol of Turkish hospitality worldwide.
I cant wait to visit Istanbul again and have a hot cup of tea while on a ferry ride from Europe to Asia… such a simple thing, but something that has its own meaning to cultural diversity.. a pleasure we should all experience.