Making Turkish Tea

Most tourists who have been to Turkey must have sampled Turkish coffee and Turkish Tea or çay. I’m personally a bigger fan of the latter, the former being too bitter for me. Most of Turkey’s tea comes from the Black Sea region, especially from the Rize province in North-East Turkey. The tea that we’re talking about here is black tea, and is normally had without milk. It is said that tea became popular in Turkey only over the last century – when the Ottoman Empire collapsed, importing coffee apparently became quite an expensive venture, forcing people to turn towards other options produced domestically. Now, Turkey is the second largest consumer of tea in the world (with India being the first), but it is the highest per capita consumer of tea at 2.5 kg per person per year.


1. Turkish tea is commonly made with 2 kettles stacked on top of each other.

Turkish teapots

2. While water boils in the kettle at the bottom, the tea leaves are left to be smoked in the upper pot. The amount of tea to be put in the upper kettle equals to one teaspoon per person. Note that the upper kettle only has the tea leaves, no water. (To make stronger tea, feel free to put in more than one teaspoon per person)


3. After the water has started boiling, pour half of the water into the upper kettle to brew the tea. Reduce the heat to low and let the tea in the upper kettle get brewed over the steam coming from the kettle at the bottom.


4. Let the tea brew for about 15 minutes


5.  Fill in half of the tea glasses with the brewed tea and the rest with the hot water.

Mixing in the hot water with the half full glass of brewed tea

6. Serve the tea with some sugar cubes



In case you’re dying to test out Turkish tea without having been to Turkey, here’s a link for buying some of it, including the teapots. Yes, it might seem like an expensive venture, but I didn’t even like tea until I started living in Turkey, so maybe it is worth the investment!

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