Tea is a hot drink with at least 5000 years of history, though it entered Turkish culture a little late. For many foreigners, Turkish coffee is the first thing that come to their mind when talking about traditions. They always bring their loved ones Turkish coffee after a visit to Turkey. However, tea has a bigger place in Turkish culture. Tea has many ways of drinking and serving but basically it is being drunk from the morning till night. Breakfasts don’t start before the tea comes to the table and after a nice dinner everyone loves a well-made glass of tea in Turkey. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Turkish people accepted tea in their daily lives and at the end of the century, they even started to cultivate it. The as basically the symbol of beginnings, endings, friendship and hospitality in Turkey. All kinds of relationships; everything, from the most casual encounters to the most formal ones, start with tea.
This hot and calming drink can be found in all kinds of cafes and homes in Turkey. There are even has special locations where only tea is served. Although these places are named after coffee such as ‘Kahve’ or ‘Kahvehane’, they commonly serve, mainly because it is cheaper and easier to find than coffee. these places are in nearly all neighborhoods, in addition to the beaches in holiday locations. The is also an essential part of Turkish kitchens. Tea is made when a guest is coming or there is a gathering of friends or family. Besides, it is made for the people who come to their home to work, such as a plumber, cleaner or constructor of some kind. Tea shows acceptance and good deeds of people. If you visit someone’s home in Turkey and not offered tea, you should be worried about the intentions of your hosts.
- Tea in Turkish is ‘Cay’. ‘Cay’ is originally Chinese but it is used in daily life as if it is Turkish. It is also used in Indie and Japanese, too.
- Turkish tea is made in special teapots. They have two parts: The upper, smaller one and the lower, larger one. The process starts with boiling some water. Then it continues with putting the herb to the upper part of the teapot and adding some boiling water to it. You should also add water to the one below and let it boil. Afterwards, you should wait for the process named ‘demlenmek’ which means the process of the herb giving a dark red color to the water.
- There are several ways of serving tea, but there are tulip shaped, clear glasses specially made for drinking Turkish tea. They also have matching little plates and teaspoons.
- After the process is done and the color of the water in the upper pot turns dark red, your tea is ready to serve. You should pour some colored water to the glass and add boiled water on it. The more colored water you put, the more intense your tea will be.
- Turkish people generally serve tea together with two cubes of sugar. While, some Turkish people don’t use sugar to taste the tea better, some people find the taste very strong and add even more sugar.
- Teas is definitely a cultural essential in Turkey. Moreover, it has many health benefits. Tea is consumed after meals because it helps the digestion process. Additionally, it is good for heart and blood vessels. It also has a calming effect. Therefore, Turkish people drink it when angry, nervous or anxious.