Drinking Turkish Tea and the Social Culture in Turkey

Turkish tea rather than coffee is the national drink of Turkey. More than likely, Turkish friends will serve tea when you visit them at home. They may also send invites to meet them in tea gardens that are family destinations and an integral part of Turkish culture. Teahouses in villages or town centres of Turkey are male-dominated environments, and females rarely visit.

Harking to the old days of face-to-face interaction, indulging in daily rituals of tea drinking in Turkey is personal and, in most cases of strangers, the beginning of beautiful friendships. Tea even has a Turkish love proverb. “Sevmek Çay Gibidir Sevilmek Seker Bizim Gibi Garibanlar Çayi Sekersiz” Meaning “To love is like tea, to be loved is like sugar. The poor like us drink their tea without sugar.”

The Best of Turkish Tea

Turkish tea

Is Turkish Tea Good for You?

Called Cay in Turkish, as well as being a social experience, black Turkish tea has many health benefits. For example, Netherlands Studies showed that Turkish black tea helps regulate heart blood vessels, leading to fewer chances of strokes or heart attacks. In addition, flavonoids in black tea keep cholesterol down, help to stabilise our metabolism and lead to a reduced risk of diabetes. Turkish tea is also said to help with obesity and stress. Estimates say Turks drink the most tea globally, and Turkey ranks as the fifth-highest exporter; hence everyone can tap into health benefits.

Turkish tea health benefits

How to Make and Drink Turkish Tea

First, Turks use a steel, two-tire teapot called a caydanlik. Take the bottom pot and boil water on the stove. Put two tablespoons of tea leaves into the top pot, and fill with boiling water from the lower one. Sit it on top of the bottom pan for 10 minutes. Rather than use cups, Turks drink hot tea out of small tulip-shaped glasses sitting on round saucers. When serving, fill the glass a quarter or third of the way up with tea mixture from the caydanlik top half. Top up with clear water from the bottom pot. Alter this mixture according to whether you like strong (demli) or weak (açik.) Try adding sweetness, then stir, and drink. Turks never add milk but like sweetness.

 

Turkish tea Caydanlik

What Kind of Tea is Popular in Turkey?

Caykur from the northeast Rize region of Turkey is the most widely used brand of black tea. The mild climate of this special place, known as Turkey’s tea capital, suits green mountainsides covered with plantations. As Rize’s leading trade, estimates say every second adult works in the industry. Caykur produces many variations of tea, although Rize Turist is the most widely sold in Turkey and throughout the world. If you are in Rize, visit Caykur tea gardens to consume a refreshing brew and for fantastic city, sea, and plantations views.

Turkish tea types

Other Types of Turkish Tea

Oralet, a fruit tea with flavours like orange, apple, lemon, and cherry, looks more like sprinkles for decorating cakes rather than leaves. The unusual bright colour, fruity taste, and sweetness mean this drink does not need extra sugar. Sold at local weekly markets, this type appeals to tourists more than Turks.

Turkish herbal tea is available, but at this point, it is worth mentioning Apple tea. This beverage garnered a reputation in Turkish tourism as ideal drinks to offer travellers, especially while shopping. However, Turks seldom drink it. According to them, the black, sweet variety is how to drink tea like a Turk!

Also About Turkey

Regional Food Dishes: Any first-time visitor to Turkey who assumes kebabs are an everyday feast is misinformed. Thousands of traditional dishes across Turkey associate with specific regions and are well respected for production, excellent ingredients, and diversity from standard recipes. If food is your passion in life, a culinary tour of Turkey’s cuisine alongside tasting tea or coffee is highly recommended.

Gaziantep Coffee Houses: South-eastern Gaziantep has many coffee houses and types of coffee I had never heard of before. This article discusses them and famous places in Gaziantep to drink coffee, should you tire of Turkish tea.

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Follow Natalie:
Hi. I'm Natalie, a freelance travel blogger and writer specializing in the country of Turkey. I love hot summer days, historical sites and coffee.

3 Responses

  1. Nat
    |

    No – I think it started as a way to get the tourists in and just took off. Baffles me as well, because I’ve yet to meet a Turk who actually likes it.

  2. Josh
    |

    Do you know why tourists are always given elma çay? in places like the Grand Bazaar? people who have visited Turkey always rave about Turkish apple tea and it makes no sense to me.

  3. I didn’t realize how ingrained tea was in the Turkish culture. This was a very interesting read!