Turkey is the world’s top tea drinking country, with each Turk sipping an average of 1,300 cups of tea per year! Here, tea is prepared as a strong concentrate (often in a samovar) and then diluted with hot water and sugar to taste. Want to try your hand at drinking tea like a Turk? Follow these steps to make Turkish tea.
How to drink Turkish tea:
- Make a pot of really strong black tea, such as our Kiss Me, I'm Irish Breakfast Tea. (Use more tea leaves and less water to brew a sort of tea concentrate.)
- Arrange glasses on a tray. In Turkey, tea is served in tulip-shaped glasses, which allow the drinkers to appreciate the crimson color of the tea. (Consider adding a few to your collection!)
- Fill the glasses a quarter full, and top off with hot water, leaving a half inch gap at the top to avoid spills and burning your fingers.
- Add sugar to taste. (Often, two sugar cubes are served with tea, but in some parts of Eastern Turkey, tea is taken in the kitlama style, where a cube of sugar is placed between the tongue and cheek while drinking the tea.)
- Hold the glass at the top with your thumb and index finger (there are no handles), sip and enjoy!
A few pro tips on drinking Turkish tea:
In Turkey, the host is supposed to serve tea for as long as their guests would like. It’s considered bad tea etiquette to say that you’ve run out of tea!
If you’re bargaining with a trader at a Turkish bazaar, and you’ve had your fill of tea (trust us, tea will be involved), simply put your teaspoon on top of your glass the moment you finish your tea. This signals politely that you really have had enough tea.
Or, you can try a Turkish thank you: "Teşekkür ederim!"