If there is one thing that is always present in daily life in Turkey, it is tea. Turkish people drink tea around the clock, besides a popular drink it is a form of social relationship. They offer tea to their guests, customers and friends anytime. In Turkey they grow their own tea in the Black Sea area and they have their own way to prepare and drink it, even have their own type of cups and teapots. We invite you to take a tea as we review this part of the country's culture.
Although Turks, as people native to Central Asia, they knew tea since centuries ago, but it was not until the late nineteenth century when they began to try to cultivate tea in their soil. First attempts were unsuccessful because land around Bursa is not suitable for teaplants growing. But Russians had managed tea-growing to take place in Georgia and meanwhile coffee was hard to get those years, thus, in 1924 Black Sea seeds were imported and plantations started in Rize area and Trabzon . After some years 30 production began to grow and the government supported tea-harvesting as a way to create jobs in a fairly depressed area in those days. Nowadays, Turkey is among the world top tea producers and is second in tea per capita consumption.
Turkish people prepare tea similarly to Russians. They use double-bodied teapots, bottom teapot is filled with water and tea is placed in the small top tea kettle . When the water begins to boil, it is poured into the top kettle, used water is replaced and both teapots are heated up again. After a few 10 minutes we will have our Turkish tea ready. But now let´s see how it is served.
To take tea, in Turkey they use transparent tulip-shaped glasses, Turkey's national flower. They use small vessels becuase they take many teas throughout the day and on the plate where they are placed on, they put a couple of sugar cubes. The shape of the glass allows to grab it from the top without getting burned.
When serving tea you have to remember that the top kettle contains a very concentrated tea, so you have to mix it with hot water from the kettle below according to each one preferences. Normally, we serve one third of concentrated tea and two-thirds of hot water. Never fill the glass to the top, otherwise we could not grasp it.
Some people associate Turkish tea with apple tea but that's just for tourists.