Turkish tea is called çay, a form of black tea, it is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, due to its mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. Turkey is the sixth largest tea producer in the world and its output is self-sufficient with small-scale export. Powerful and fragrant, Turkish tea is typically prepared using two stacked kettles (Turkish: çaydanlık) especially designed for tea preparation. Water is brought to a boil in the larger lower kettle and then some of the water is used to fill the smaller kettle on top and steep several spoons of loose tea leaves, producing a very strong tea. When served the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual serving basis. This allows each tea drinker the choice between strong tea (Turkish: koyu çay) or weak tea (Turkish: açık çay). Tea is served in small glasses to enjoy it hot as well as to show its color and allow the drinker to add sugar to his taste. As in many countries in the Black Sea region, the drinking of tea pre-dates its cultivation, and it was during the 16th century that the beverage was introduced to the Ottoman court. As far as cultivation was concerned in Turkey, it started in the 1920s making use of seeds from the Soviet Union. The Turkish tea plantations cover the south shores of the Black Sea between Rize and Trabzon and are often small in size where a more collective style of farming is practised.
Within Turkey, the tea is usually known as Rize tea. Virtually all of the tea is produced in the Rize Province on the Black Sea coast. Back in 2004 Turkey produced 205,500 tons of tea or 6.4 percent of the world's total tea production. This level of tea cultivation makes Turkey one of the largest tea markets in the world and at the same time Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world at 2.5 kilograms per person followed by the United Kingdom at 2.1 kilograms per person annually. Tea is an important part of the Turkish culture with the offfering of tea or coffee considered to be a sign of friendship, respect and hospitality. Whether guest at someones home, at pizar or in a restaurant it is an integral part of Turkish culture. Even though it has gained this huge popularity, tea became the widely consumed beverage of choice in Turkey only in the 20th century. It was initially encouraged as an alternative to coffee, which had become quite expensive and at times unavailable in the aftermath of World War I. Upon the loss of territories after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, coffee had become an expensive import. At the urging of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Atatürk, the Turkish people turned more to tea as it was easily obtainable from domestic sources. Turkish tea is traditionally offered in small tulip-shaped glasses which are usually held by the rim, in order to save the drinker's fingertips from being burned, as the tea is served boiling hot.
In Turkey, herbal teas are also popular, although mostly with tourists, apple tea (Turkish: elma çayı), rose hip tea (Turkish: kuşburnu çayı), and linden flower tea (Turkish: ıhlamur çayı) being the most popular varieties. Sage tea (Turkish: ada çayı) is most popular in the Mediterranean coastal region. A specific tea from the Black Sea region is Thé des Ottomans which is a special blend of organic Black Sea tea combined with fresh Anatolian flowers, spices and fruit. This tea is available online at: www.vieenrose.com. All these teas are hand made using fresh certified organic herbs from their farms with the belief that true health and balance can be attained by using what naturally grows around us. They only use certified organic herbs grown locally which produce the freshest and most beneficial products for your body and mind while supporting the natural local ecosystem.
The company’s founder, Jayda Uras, is a half-Turkish and half-British woman who grew up in Switzerland. She originally trained as an architect and after having worked six years in New York as an architect, she expanded her horizons by studying aromatherapy and biochemistry with internationally renowned industry experts Michael Scholes and Debbie Freund and later received a degree from the New York Healing School. Jayda Uras continued her studies in London at the Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy under Gabriel Mojay. While studying in London, she worked as a natural remedy consultant at Wholefoods in Soho London. Jayda specializes in Herbal / Aromatherapy consultations, Herbal treatments focusing on all types of illnesses and skin conditions creating and customized blends for customers and clients. Any visit to Istanbul should include a visit to the Vie En Rose shop and clinic in cihangir in Istanbul where she runs a natural herbal pharmacy where they produce organic creams, soaps, oils that are extremely fresh with no expiration dates on them as they have absolutely no chemicals in them and are produced with the use of certified organic oils and herbs grown on their organic farms in Turkey. You can follow Vie En Rose on FaceBook or visit their website online at: www.vieenrose.com
Leçons de Choses
- The designs of Magali Arbib can now be purchased online on her website -
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