MNN Galleries

The perfect cup of tea around the globe

By: Angela Nelson on Feb. 1, 2017, 7:32 a.m.
Tea in Turkey with a copper teapot

Photo: Alim Yakubov/Shutterstock

2 of 10


Turkey has some serious tea-drinkers. The average Turkish citizen consumes about seven pounds of tea a year — that's about 1,000 cups, according to data from market research company Euromonitor International, which makes the Turks the biggest tea consumers on Earth.

Tea is a staple in everyday life, the Turkish Cultural Foundation says: "It is hard to imagine breakfasts, social gatherings, business meetings, negotiations for carpets in the Grand Bazaar, or ferry rides across the Bosphorus in Turkey without the presence of tea. With tea servers in streets, shopping malls, and parks shouting, “ÇAY!” (chai), the beverage is always within shouting distance."

How to make a proper cup: Use rize tea, which is a black tea produced on Turkey's eastern Black Sea coast; you could try some from Çaykur, the oldest tea-producing company in Turkey.

Boil water in the lower pot of a double teapot (called a "çaydanlık," pictured) made out of porcelain, preferably. Add loose-leaf tea to the top part and, once the water boils, add enough hot water to steep the leaves. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

This allows each person to have their tea as strong or as weak as they wish: Pour a quarter or half glass of the steeped tea water and fill the rest of the glass with hot water, according to the Instanbul Insider.

The tea is served piping hot in a small, clear glass with a slight hourglass shape (also described as tulip-shaped), which you hold under the rim to avoid burning your fingers. The clear glass enables the drinker to appreciate the tea's deep crimson color.