Turkish tea – A story of culture
For a long time, Turkey has been known as a country with numerous beautiful landscapes, among them are blue clear beaches lying amid green land, which is a wonderful destination for tourism. On top of those elements, this nation is also the place of various cultures accumulated from the old days to current time. Turkish cultures and customs are shown in different aspects such as language, clothes, food and beverages especially tea. Along with coffee, tea has been a popular drink in Turkey thanks to its healthiness and good taste. To know more interesting details about Turkish tea, let's go ahead with the following lines!
Introduction of a new culture...
In the past, Tukey was a country being famous for growing a large number of coffee trees. Therefore, its products were preferred by people from other nations in the world for the unique taste and flavors. In addition to that, there used to be many coffee shops opened at that time and become a place for important meetings held by powerful classes. The coffee culture here was so special that UNESCO honored it as a world heritage in 2013.
However, when the land of this brown drink, called Yemen, was invaded by foreign enemies in around the 19th century, Turkish citizens did not have enough coffee for their daily needs. Hence, they had to think of a replacement to start their new days with. Finally, tea was found as a good choice for its high nutrient value and nice taste.
Depending on documents from the International Department of Tea, Turkey is at the first top for the amount of tea consumed each year. Also, it is recorded in the fifth line of the world's list for annual tea quantity planted.
Forms a new habit
Tea trees are planted with a high number in Turkey partly thanks to the suitable weather conditions. Indeed, that the Black Sea area possesses a temperate climate contributes to the production of good quality tea. Gradually, people grow different kinds of this green plant to provide more choices for drinkers, which has led to a new habit in the country of tulips ever since.
In the old days, tea was popular not only for the good taste but also for its reasonable price. Because of that reason, it could reach every class of the society from patricians to normal residents. People usually went to tea shops for a nice mug of this bitter drink and a conversation with their friends. Each talk would begin with a small gulp of tea so that the tellers can get ready.
In modern life, as there is not much time for chilling with tea due to the chain of busy days, people tend to get up early and enjoy it before going to work. The bitter taste of this beverage somewhat helps them calm down and gives them a minute to think about life. Moreover, there is nothing to be surprised when you see groups of folks standing on the pavement with a cup of tea because they can drink it at any time and anywhere.
Healthy beverage with natural ingredients
After a long time of creation, people have come up with new ways to make different types of tea. Among them, apple tea may be one of the most well-known for its sourness and sweetness. The main ingredient of this kind are fresh apples ground hard into powder after being picked from the trees. Visitors coming here usually buy apple tea as a small gift for their friends and family.
Besides, there are also other sorts of delicious tea such as lemon tea, black tea, herb tea, pomegranate tea and so on. Each one has its specific flavors and leaves an unforgettable experience in travelers once they try it. Especially, they are all made from natural resources without adding any chemicals to give the best taste and nice colors.
Not only popular for foodies from around the world, but Turkish tea is also loved by local citizens from the young to the old generations. According to some latest surveys, every person in Turkey consumes about more than one hundred glasses of tea per year. This number is predicted to keep rising in the future time to come.
A unique way to enjoy tea
Different from how other nations boil their tea, Turkish people process these green leaves in a two-level pot made from metals instead of pottery. The upper layer is used to put tea and the lower one is the place for water. Thus, they are separated from each other, which is totally distinct from the traditional method.
To have a nice cup of tea, you will have to wait for the water to boil first. This process may take up to 30 minutes or more. Then, to make it fit your palate, you can choose to add some sugar or milk. However, in Turkish style, people tend to put a tablet of sugar in their mouth before taking a gulp. By this way, you can taste the specific flavor clearly. Moreover, while drinking this beverage, people usually eat delights such as lokum to balance the bitterness of tea.
As for the cups, you may not see the small mugs as we use in the East. Rather, they utilize a glass which is designed in diverse shapes. For example, tulips form with eye-catching patterns on it is one of the most favorites. While inviting people to have tea, the Turkish fill only half of the cup for fear that their guesses cannot finish up. If you do not know why it is, the answer would be because tea is quite dense with a little amount of water. Therefore, it is somewhat bitter for those who are not used to drinking tea.
Tacit rules to know
In Turkey, it is considered to be impolite if the host does not have enough tea for his guesses. Hence, they always prepare a lot of tea in case their friends are in need of more. When coming to someone's house in this nation, you can drink as much of this green beverage as you want.
If you do not need more, there is a polite way to let the host know that you want to stop. After drinking up your tea, you can put the cup on the table with a spoon on it. By seeing that, they will not pour into your mug again.