An obsession, an addiction, a daily routine, a ritual, a welcome gesture, a conversation starter, a break from work, a breakfast companion, a way to while away the time and what not. These are many roles and faces of the Turkish tea. As a visitor to a shop, a public office, a friends’ house in Turkey you are often served a tulip-shaped glass of hot tea crimson in color with two tiny sugar cubes on a saucer and a little spoon to stir. And the pleasure of hugging that beautiful glass with your fingers and feeling the warmth of the tea on your palm does its magic as it comforts you and lets the conversation flow.
Turkish tea, called “çay”, a form of black tea ( fermented green tea ), is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. To make Turkish tea you should use Caydanlik (specially designed for tea preparation) which is a small tea pot-brewer (demlik; best brewers are made of porcelain ) on top of a kettle. Pour some water into the larger kettle. Put the Turkish tea leaves and 2 tea spoon of water into the teapot and place it on the kettle. Bring the water in the kettle to boil over medium heat ( boiling on wood fireis the best ). Then turn the heat off. Wait for the water to settle, then pour half of the boiling water from the kettle over the leaves into the brewer. Let it brew for about 5 minutes. Then pour the brewed tea into tea glasses using a small tea strainer. Fill in half of the tea glasses with the brewed tea and the rest with the hot water. When served, the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual basis, giving each consumer the choice between strong (Turkish: koyu; literally “dark”) or weak (Turkish: açık; literally “light”). Tea is drunk from small glasses to enjoy it hot in addition to showing its colour, with cubes of beet sugar.