It’s holiday time at Tea at Three, so I’m off to Southern Turkey with books, watercolours and my little yellow tea-kettle.
I love Turkey, and the Turkish people are great tea drinkers – everywhere you are greeted with courteous offers of tea. Tea in turkey is called çay (pronounced chai; rhymes with ‘eye’) and is made in a wonderful double tea-pot called a çaydanlik; consisting of a small tea-pot sitting on a larger one. Strong tea is made in the top pot, and the one below has hot water, so you can dilute your çay to taste. Çay is usually served in small tulip-shaped glasses without milk, and with two cubes of sugar and a small spoon on the side.
Turkey grows approximately 6% of the worlds tea the in Black Sea region around Rize. In tourist areas you will often see apple tea – elma çay. This is a sweet fruit drink that is lovely and warming, but is mainly sugar, and doesn’t usually contain any tea leaves. It is similar to the pomegranate tea I had at Comptoir Libanias.
There is huge Turkish community in London, especially around Green Lanes in Harringey, and in north London where I live there are many Turkish groceries selling a wonderful array of Turkish breads, pastries, olives, honey, cheeses and of course çay.
I took this photo in the supermarket opposite my workplace on Hornsey Road.
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