The essence of green tea infused with apple, hibiscus, berries and rose is unparalleled, which is something that Turkish staunchly believes in.
Turkey is a land that has straddled several cultures, culminating both eastern and western lifestyles in rather exotic ways. An epitome of which, is Turkish tea, or “cay”, as they call it.
Interestingly, tea was not the first ever beverage in the country. It gained popularity after World War I, when the loss of crucial coffee-producing territories increased the cost associated with importing coffee. The Turkish then began to embrace tea and thus began the nation’s love affair with the beverage a passion that has not lessened with time.
Today, Turkey is among the top five tea-growing economies globally, producing about 6 percent of the world’s tea. In Turkey, tea is consumed all day long. It has become a requisite for common breakfasts, accompanying black olives, cheeses, bread and sometimes “simit” (Turkish version of bagels).
As the Turkish saying goes, “Caysiz sohbet, aysiz gok yuzu gibidir” (meaning: Conversations without tea are like a night sky without the moon.) A cup of tea is firmly ingrained in the culture as an etiquette and a sign of personal connection and hospitality.
There is a stark contrast in the tea culture prevailing in the country than compared to the other parts of the world when it comes to the tea drinking rituals. The tea is brewed in a caydanlik — a teapot with two stacked kettles, where water is placed in the bottom pot and the tea leaves are placed in the top, a smaller one. After steeping, the tea is then poured into glasses through a strainer and topped off with the remaining water in the bottom pot. The tea has to be drunk in tulip shaped glass cups, without cup holders; unlike the conventional hoity-toity porcelain ones.
The variants of tea found are green and black, to which milk or lemon aren’t added, it is instead served with few small sugar cubes, and always served hot. The chief flavours incorporated in them are of apple and hibiscus. This provides the desired calming effect to the tea drinker. Turks may come from different ethnic backgrounds, having various socio-economic statuses, religions, and world views but the love for the typical Turkish tea is definitely omnipresent.
Karma Kettle’s Istanbul brings to you flavours right from the Turkish table, in your teacup.
RECIPE: BERRY HIBISCUS TEA SMOOTHIE
Perk up your warm summer morning smoothie with hibiscus tea!
Ingredients: 1 bag of Hibiscus Green Tea, 3/4 cup water , 1 cup’ frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & raspberries) , 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1 handful of ice
Steps: Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil and steep the tea. Let the tea bag sit in the water for about 3 minutes and then discard the tea bag and let the water cool down. Once tea is at room temperature (you could pop it in the fridge if you need to speed things up) and then add all the berries to the blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy.
Recipe source: https://iheartvegetables.com/berry-hibiscus-tea-smoothie/