Offering Tea to guests is the most common ritual of the Turkish hospitality. Whether you are visiting a friend or just negotiating a handbag or a carpet at the Grand Bazaar you will always be welcomed with Tea.
Turkish Tea, usually called Çay, is similar to Black Tea and is strong and full-bodied. Also known as Rize Tea, this Tea is produced in the Rize province on the Black Sea Coast. Often you also get served “Elma Cay”, a sweet apple Tea. Note that the majority of Turks put a lot of sugar in their Tea.
Turks prepare Tea using a double Tea pot. Water is boiled in the lower pot and the Tea is steeped in the top one. This method allows each person to drink the Tea as they desire: strong and steeped, or light with lots of water added. Tea is then served very hot in small glass cups in the shape of a tulip, with a coloured base.
I visited Turkey in August 2008 with my good friend Joana and was amazed because you are constantly being served Tea. It is the national hot drink of Turkey and you often see the locals relaxing drinking Tea and smoking narghile.
Happy Tea Break!