Turkish Tea has been a part of Turkish culture for hundreds of years and is deeply rooted in Turkish society. Usually served as a black tea known as Rize çayı, grown in the eastern Black Sea region. Traditionally served strong and hot, often with sugar cubes or honey to add sweetness.

Turkish people have a special bond with their tea. It’s seen as an important part of socializing and hospitality in Turkey. They sit together to enjoy this Tea during family gatherings, holidays, or simply just to catch up and chat about life. Turkish Tea Ceremonies are also very popular in the country too.

What is Turkish Tea

What is Turkish Tea?

Turkish tea, also known as çay, is the traditional national hot beverage of Turkey. It is a black tea that is served hot and usually unsweetened. Although it can also be enjoyed with sugar or honey. It has become an important part of Turkish culture, bringing people together for social gatherings such as wedding celebrations and neighbourly chats.

The strong flavour and dark colour distinguish it from other varieties of black tea like English Breakfast Tea Bags or Earl Grey. Unlike these teas, which are often brewed in small teapots with mesh strainers, Turkish tea is boiled in a pot called “çaydanlık” directly on the stovetop until the desired strength is achieved. This method gives Turkish Tea its unique.

Tea Culture

Tea Culture in Turkey

Drinking Tea in Turkey isn’t only a pastime; it’s an experience. Surprisingly, however, compared to Tea’s thousands of years of history, it is a relatively new phenomenon. Historians can’t agree precisely when Tea arrived in Turkey. Some sources suggest as early as 400 BCE and others as late as the 20th Century.

Nevertheless, the first attempt to grow it on its soil, instead of importing it, took place in Bursa between 1888 and 1892. Unfortunately, early experiments failed due to inadequate terroir. It wasn’t until 1924 that the Turkish parliament passed a law that encouraged cultivating Tea in the east of the Black Sea region. This was the start of Turkish Tea culture as we know it today.

During the 1930s, 70 tonnes of Tea seeds arrived in the region via neighbouring countries. Turkish Tea plantations have continued to be developed and expanded ever since, culminating in TurkishTea’s global success.

Tea Pots and Tea Glass

Tea Pots and Tea Glass Used in Turkey

In addition to the traditional tea preparation ritual, Turkish tea also comes with a few accessories. Teapots, known as “çaydanlık,” are often used to boil the water and steep the tea before it is poured into glasses.

Tea glasses are usually small and narrow-necked and have a more concentrated flavour than regular cups. The shape of these glasses helps keep the heat from escaping quickly, allowing for a longer-lasting aromatic experience.

The çaydanlık and tea glasses may be made from copper, stainless steel, or glass. Turkish people are very particular about their tea-drinking utensils. The quality of these materials can affect the taste of the tea. Copper çaydanlık is particularly prized for its ability to heat up evenly, as well as its traditional look and feel In Turkish culture.

Turkish Tea Ceremonies

Turkish Tea Ceremonies

Turkish Tea Ceremonies, known as “çay kurabiyesi”, are a great way to get a taste of the tea culture. During these ceremonies, People gather around a traditional Turkish teapot and serve each other glasses of tea while chatting and enjoying snacks.

The host will usually prepare the tea in the teapot in front of the guests. This is done with grace and accuracy, making sure each cup is full before moving on to the next person.

These ceremonies can be found all over the country, from small villages to big cities. They provide an opportunity for locals to come together and share stories about their families or experiences in life. Turkish Tea Ceremonies also offer visitors the chance to get a taste of Turkish culture, as they often feature traditional Turkish music and snacks.

No matter where it is enjoyed. It will always remain an important part of Turkish culture and a key piece in the mosaic that makes up Turkish life. Whether it’s shared over meals or during celebrations, It has become an integral part of Turkish society and continues to be enjoyed by all.

How to Make Authentic Turkish Tea

Making a cup of Turkish tea is simple and requires few ingredients:

  • Start by boiling 1 ½ cups (300 ml) of water in a pot or “çaydanlık”
  • Once the water starts to bubble, add two teaspoons of loose-leaf black tea and stir briefly
  • Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat when it reaches a dark reddish colour
  • Pour the tea through a filter into small glasses. Leave enough room at the top for milk or sugar if desired
  • Enjoy your cup of Turkish tea!

As you can see, making Turkish tea is easy and doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients. With just a few simple steps, you can have a delicious cup of tea that will help bring people together. Make special moments even more memorable. So why not try it out for yourself today?

Taste Of Turkey

A Sweet Taste Of Turkey

One of the most popular types of Turkish tea is Turkish Apple Tea, also known as “elma çay”. This type of tea is made by adding dried apples, cinnamon sticks and sugar to boiling water. The combination gives it a unique flavour that has become a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.

It is often served on cold days or after a meal as an alternative to regular Turkish tea. It’s also commonly found at cafes and restaurants, usually served alongside traditional Turkish desserts like baklava or kadayıf.

Overall, this is a great way to get a taste of Turkish culture while enjoying something sweet and comforting.


The culture has a long and rich history that spans centuries. It is enjoyed in homes, restaurants, parks and cafes all over Turkey and can be made with just a few simple ingredients. Turkish tea ceremonies are also a great way to experience culture first-hand.

Turkish apple tea is another popular option for visitors looking for something sweet and comforting. Whether you’re visiting or living in Turkey, taking part in the culture is a must! Enjoy it with friends or family - it's sure to be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip!

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.