Turkish Tea: The Taste and Experience of Turkey
Turkish Tea: the taste and the experience
The Turkish people love tea and drink it all day long and turkish tea is an important part of the country’s warm hospitality. Even the children are offered tea! Show the tiniest inkling of interest in purchases like carpet, jewelry, ceramics, or lamps and you’ll be offered tea. Accept it for what it is – a warm smile and an excuse to shop longer, but sip slowly as it is served very, very hot!
Turks love tea so much that is is constantly available. Their tea servers have a large container on the bottom full of water which is kept boiling all day long. On top of the boiling water is a teapot full of tea. I love hot tea and drink it year round, but the term hot is relative. I didn’t drink nearly as much tea in Turkey as I would have liked because it was served way too hot for me. The ice cubes I use to make it cool enough to drink here at home were not available. Brewed tea is kept for only an hour and then tossed to make new. If it sits longer than that it is too bitter. Truth be told – Turkish tea is pretty strong!
Tea is served in a small glass on a saucer with a tiny spoon and a cube of sugar. The cup makes a wonderful souvenir and you can find them in all the shops. I love sweet tea (Texas girl here!) so I usually added another cube. There is always more sitting on the table. 😉 Through the clear glass you can see the color of the tea which is ideally the color of rabbit’s blood. Having never seen the color of rabbit’s blood thankfully, I can only guess that mine was the right color because it was delicious.
Tea is popular in Turkey because it is grown here in the northern regions near the Black Sea. The rain near the coast makes for tea growing heaven. In addition to traditional Turkish black tea, you’ll find tea with different flavors such as peach. The most common tea other than traditional black Turkish tea is apple and ironically it doesn’t contain tea – just dried apple and flavorings like cinnamon!
Apple tea is a lot like our hot apple cider and is served just like traditional tea and it smells wonderful. We had it many times and it was a favorite for my kids. There is no word on what animal blood it is supposed to resemble. 😉
How to Make Tea like the Turks
Put loose tea in a trap pot. According to those I asked in Turkey, porcelain or cooper pots make the best tea. Add boiling water and let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes. Serve in a small glass immediately because hot is better!
Stopping to sip hot tea is a great way to experience the Turkish culture and you’ll have lots of opportunities to do just that. It is available at every restaurant and hotel. Turks are warm, very relaxed people and things move at a slower pace than in the United States. Don’t fight it – instead just sink into it. Take a deep breath, relax, sip the tea, and enjoy your vacation. Spend the time talking with your family, connecting, and making family memories. Combine the relaxed tea sipping with a hammam experience and you’ll wonder why anyone ever leaves Turkey!!
Happy and relaxed family travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist