Turkish Tea Culture
One of the first impressions, when you come to Turkey, is that people everywhere, always, in any possible situation drink tea. And not just any tea. It is a famous black Turkish tea called çay in Turkish.
As a tourist, you will be invited to stores by owners for a cup of tea while you look around the shop, but for an expat living in Turkey, Turkish tea culture will become a huge part of everyday life.
In the beginning
When I first came to Turkey this habit of drinking tea everywhere and almost always seemed so strange to me. I come from the country of coffee drinkers and we don’t take it so seriously, but here drinking tea is an art, a necessity, pleasure and tea making requires skills. I still remember first tea that I made for my father in law. It was a big happening for me, as I knew how much he loves a good cup of tea, so I was very worried if I can do it well. I have Turkish friends who drink more than 15 Turkish small cups of tea a day. Most of it with a cube or two of sugar.
When you have guests at home, you will make a Turkish tea in a tea kettle and serve it a few hundred times, because Turkish tea cups are so small, that you will be required to go to the kitchen (where you keep it warm on the fire, because if it doesn’t burn your mouth, it’s not good enough for Turks :D) and bring the tea every 10ish minute for a refill 🙂
My biggest surprise
In Turkey, it is very common to see workers on the side of the road making tea in a samovar.
It is actually a wonderful sight to see workers resting while they indulge in their favorite drink, giving it so much importance. They are there, present in the moment, enjoying their break.
Today, after living here for four years I became addicted to çay 🙂 Well… Not really addicted, but I enjoy çay after the meal while we eat something sweet or with the breakfast. Making çay in Turkish tea kettle requires a bit of skill that finally I feel confident with and now when we have guests I don’t ask my husband anymore whether the çay is done, I just serve it and love to bring the kettle even millions of times from the kitchen, because it means that our home is filled with dear people we love to spend time with.
Please, share your thoughts on this subject in the comment box bellow or contact me directly. Do you like Turkish tea? Did you get used to drinking it on every occasion? 🙂
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