Drew B (@teaxplorer) has recently written a great post about Turkish tea (i.e. CTC production black tea) on his blog. Although he stayed just a few days in Istanbul, he’s covered basics and subtleties of Turkish tea really well on this post.If you’ve not had the chance to read it, hurry up and take a look! I’d like to add just a few points without stealing the spotlight on his post.
Drew mentioned that he could not figured out how long turkish tea is brewed before it’s served. Average brewing time for Turkish tea is around 10-12 minutes according to Çaykur which is state-owned tea producer and main player in the tea market of Turkey. However you can easily come across varying practices across the country. I’ve even seen people who insist that brewing time must be at least half an hour:) There is no accounting for taste, right? In my opinion 5-7 minutes brewing time is quite enough for standard Turkish black tea.
My second point regards tulip-shaped tea glasses which Drew correctly tags as the most iconic symbol of Turkish tea culture. I couldn’t agree more! These glasses are definitely the most distinctive feature of tea culture in Turkey.
From time to time I get asked by non-Turkish friends what tea is best to try Turkish black tea. Though you can get different answers depending on whom you ask; my suggestion would be “42 No’lu Tirebolu Çayı” which is produced by Çaykur. Given its retail price ( 12-13 USD per kilo) it’s perfect for every day use and blending! Like all other Turkish black teas, it’s CTC production.