Turkey and tea are inseparable, they go arm in arm together. Every household and workplace has a special double-boiler teapot, tulip shaped glasses with small matching saucers, tiny teaspoons and cubes of sugar.
From dawn to dusk we find any excuse to have a cuppa – or should I say a glass. Breakfast or ‘khavalti’ (literally before coffee), comes with tea. When you bump into a friend in the street you both start automatically walking arm in arm to the nearest teahouse or pastry shop.
The caravans of the silk road once trundled through here and I’m sure ‘çay’ was brewed at every stop along the way. After all it, helps to sweeten the price of anything you might be buying or selling and eases the transaction of official business.
The main reason people drink so much tea in Turkey is simply because it’s delicious! Most Turkish tea is grown by small, organic producers on the mountainous Black Sea coast. In places like Rize conditions are perfect and many families have nurtured their ‘tea gardens’ for generations.