Çay, or tea, is a major part of Turkish life. I was told by my Turkish brother and FYH Turkey team partner Cem, that on average, Turks drink up to 7lbs of it a year!
The regular black Turkish tea is what is most common. The make it by having a double tea pot or a caydanlik – the smaller pot on top for the concentrated tea brew and the bottom with the boiling water to add to the tea.
Each cup will have about 1/3 tea and the rest hot water. It’s up to you if you want to add sugar or not. Because the tea cups have no handles and are tulip shaped, one takes it by the rim with their thumb and middle finger and carefully tilts its hot delicious contents in your mouth and the clear glass so you can see the color and lovely clarity of the fresh brewed beverage.
Some other types of teas you can brew like this are rose hip, nar or pomegranate, bergamot or earl grey and so many more.
When you are out in the streets of old city Istanbul in particular, you will see gentlemen, cayci or cay salesman darting across a busy road with a tray filled with cay glasses with a tray with many cups of tea on it in transport, being delivered to some shop.
Empty tea cups are gathered on window sills and such.
Tea is truly an beautiful and integral part of this lovely culture.
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