The Rize Turist Çay – the most consumed Çaykur tea. Rize Turist Çay has been part of every Turkish family for decades and has been the best known and most popular of all tea types for generations.
The most widely used brand of tea in Turkey is Caykur from the northeast region of Rize. This province, known as the tea capital of the country has a mild climate suiting the green mountainsides covered with tea plantations. As the main trade of the region, estimates say every second adult works in the tea industry of Rize. Caykur produce many variations of tea although Rize Turist is the most widely sold. If you are in that region, visit the Caykur tea gardens for a refreshing brew and fantastic view over the city and its tea plantations.
How to Drink Turkish Tea
Called Cay in Turkish, small tulip shaped glasses sitting on round saucers are used to drink the tea. Turks never add milk but generally do insist on two cubes of sugar or more. Then it is a simple case of sipping it slowly to flavour the taste.
More than likely, Turkish friends will serve you tea when you visit them in their home. They may also invite you to meet them in tea gardens that are family destinations. Teahouses, generally located in the village or town centre are male-dominated environments, and it would be extremely unusual to see a female in one of those.
Turkish Tea Benefits
As well as being a social experience, Turkish tea has many health benefits as well. Studies in the Netherlands showed that black tea helps to regulate blood vessels and the heart, therefore, leading to a lesser chance of a stroke or heart attack. The flavonoids in black tea also keep cholesterol down, help to stabilise our metabolism and lead to a reduced risk of diabetes.
How to Make Turkish Tea
Traditionally, a steel, two-tire pot called a caydanlik is used to make Turkish tea. Take the larger bottom pot and boil water in it on the stove. Put 2 tablespoons of tea leaves into the top pot, and fill it with boiling water from the lower one. Sit it on top of the bottom pan for approximately 10 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, fill a small tulip shaped glass either a quarter or a third of the way up, with the tea mixture from the top half of the caydanlik. Top up with clear water from the bottom pot. You can alter this mixture according to your taste of whether you like strong (demli) or weak (açik) tea. Add cubes of sugar to taste, then stir, and drink.
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