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Çay – Lieblingsgetränk der Türken

Tea in Istanbul towards bosphorus

Whether for breakfast, after lunch, at work or just during a chat – Istanbul residents enjoy their glass of tea at every opportunity.

The Ottomans liked to drink coffee, which they had imported from Yemen. After the founding of the Turkish Republic in the 20th century, this was replaced by tea cultivation in the country itself. The fertile soil and subtropical climate of the Turkish Black Sea region offer the best conditions and ensure that tea production is now the fifth largest in the world. Even today, “ çay“ is considered the national drink and is of course also the favorite drink of the people of Istanbul.

The preparation of Turkish tea is very interesting. Two pots are placed on top of each other on the stove, with the hot water bubbling in the lower one. The tea leaves are in the upper pot and develop their aroma through the steam from below. The tea is then brewed and must steep for a while until it takes on its bright red color and is served in tulip-shaped tea glasses. First you pour in the concentrate, then the infusion with hot water. If you want the tea to be a little milder/lighter, this is called „açık çay“ and is brewed with less concentrate and more water. If you want your tea to be a little stronger, you pour in less water. This is then called “ demli çay“. If you want, you can also put a small piece of lemon in the glass.