The Emergence of Tea
Tea first began to be consumed for medicinal purposes in China in 2737 BC. Over time, it turns into a beverage obtained as a result of brewing tea leaves with hot water. Its use as a beverage in this form corresponds to the 10th century BC.
After it started to be drunk in China, it started to be consumed in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam over time. In this period, it was still used for medical purposes only in India. As we approach today, tea in China began to be cultivated in Portugal in the 18th century. Later, it spread to England and various European countries. Thus, tea production started in Europe.
The Emergence of Turkish Tea
We mentioned in our previous article that coffee culture was brought to Europe by the Ottoman Empire. Although the Turks met with tea in the 1200s, the adoption of the tea culture took place in the 20th century.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which could not show a great presence in the field of tea and the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, started to work to spread tea, a plant that can be grown in Turkey. A kind of black tea is produced in Turkey.
The Turks, who were not very familiar with tea until the 20th century, observed an unstoppable growth in tea, especially in the Rize province of the Black Sea, in the 1900s. In 1924, a law was enacted by the state on the cultivation of tea in Rize. By the 1930s, 70 tons of black tea seeds from Georgia were planted and Rize became a tea star. Currently, Turkey is one of the 6 countries that produce the most tea in the world. According to the data of 2021, Turkey exports tea to 60 countries.
Currently Tea Culture in Turkey
With Atatürk’s incentives and the support given to agriculture, Turkey is now at a remarkable point in the world in terms of tea. The reason for this is not only the focus on production but also the high rate of tea drinking.
Turkey is the country that consumes the most tea in the world with an annual tea consumption of 2.50 kilograms per capita. It is seen that it surpassed even England, which played an important role in the development of tea in Europe. In just a hundred years.
“Tea Houses”, a socializing area, are very popular in Turkey. Especially retirees often go to these tea houses to play board games, socialize and read the daily newspaper.
How to Drink Turkish Tea?
Today, Turks drink tea at any time of the day. Different names are used according to the brewing intensity. Turks also nickname “Rabbit Blood” to the well-brewed tea in light red tones. It is consumed without sugar or with sugar.
Tea is indispensable for Turkish breakfasts. Unlike coffee for breakfast, 90% of Turkish people consume tea. It is very popular to consume some foods with tea, especially. For example, tea and simit (Turkish bagel) Apart from breakfast, it is quite common to drink hot tea after lunch and dinner. Tea is an indispensable beverage, especially with sweet snacks.
Turkish Tea Cups / Thin-Waisted Turkish Tea Glass
Perhaps the most well-known thing about Turkish tea is drinking it with the famous thin-waisted glass. The thin-waisted glass is almost a part of Turkish tea culture. Almost all teas in tea houses, restaurants, and homes are served with glasses produced in this form.
Why is the Turkish Tea Cup Thin-Waisted?
In the glass factory established in Istanbul in the 1900s, stemless, footless, and handleless glass cups were produced for the first time. And a glass close to today’s ‘thin-waisted’ tea glass form was produced. It is thought that the thin-waisted glass form was inspired by the tulip flower, which became unique to the Turks.
The thin-waisted glass form slows down the cooling of the tea and allows the glass to be easily grasped. The thin-waisted glass is transparent because it is important to see the density of the brew.
Turkish Tea Pot
The Turkish teapot also has a very interesting and unusual design. It is a kitchen tool that is usually made of metal for brewing tea, but there are also versions of the teapot made of ceramic. While the teapot was used in one piece at first, it became two-piece with the lower part larger in order to meet the daily needs in the process.
While the tea is brewed in the upper part, the hot water is kept in the lower part. While being served, tea is poured from the teapot at the top, corresponding to approximately 30% of the glass. It is served by adding hot water to the glass from the part where the hot water is at the bottom.
How to Make Turkish Tea
Required Ingredients: Tea Pot, Black Tea (Preferred Turkish Tea), Sugar (Optional)
- Fill the bottom of the teapot with drinking water and place it on the stove. (Make sure the inside of the teapot is clean and not chalky)
- Add 5-6 teaspoons of black tea to the top of the teapot. But do not add water yet.
- Turn on the bottom of the stove and wait for the water in the lower part of the teapot to boil.
- When you hear the boiling sound, add boiling water to fill 2/3 of the top of the teapot where we add the black tea.
- You can add drinking water again as the water is running low under the teapot. Then turn the stove to the lowest setting and wait for the tea to brew for about 15 minutes. Also, the bottom water needs to boil again.
- After the tea is brewed, fill the tea glass with 30% of the tea from the upper teapot, and add the hot water in the lower teapot to the remaining part.
- Sugar users can add as much sugar as they wish.
- After filling your glass, you can keep the teapot on the lowest heat for 30 minutes. So you can drink fresh tea several times. After 30 minutes, a bitter taste may begin to appear in the tea.
- Remember to drink before it gets cold. Bon Appetit!
The Most Well-Known Turkish Tea Brands
There are many tea brands in Turkey. Here, we will share the tea brands that are known all over Turkey.
- Çaykur – (It is a state-owned firm. It produces the most consumed classic Turkish black tea in Turkey.)
- Doğuş Çay (Dogus Tea)
- Tirebolu 42
- Karali Çay
- Beta Tea
I hope you enjoyed our article about Turkish tea. Well, have you ever had Turkish tea?