A welcome gesture, a daily routine, a break from work, an obsession, an addiction, a ritual, a pastime favorite, a conversation starter, a Turkish breakfast companion and what not. These are many faces and roles of the Turkish tea. As a visitor to a shop centers, a public office, a friends’ house in Turkey you are often served a glass of hot crimson tea with a little spoon to stir and some tiny sugar cubes on a saucer.
“A conversation without tea is like the night sky without its moon”
-A folk saying from Sivas, Turkey
While both Indians and Chinese claim that they first discovered drink of this kind of Tea thousands of years ago, Turks evolved their own way of drinking and making the black tea, called çay or chai. This kind of tea became a way of life for Turkish life and culture. In every place you go in Turkey, coffee and tea will be offered as a sign of hospitality and friendship, before or after any meal, anytime and anywhere.
You can have it either darker (stronger) or lighter (weaker) depending on your taste. Serious tea-drinkers usually goes to a tea houses where they serve it with a samovar they can refill their glasses themselves as much as they want. You can add as much as you want sugar in it and if you like you can add lemon in your tea. Lemon will gave a delicious taste in your tea. Turkish tea is made by pouring some very strong tea into the glass, but you can add water in it to make it lighter (weaker), depending on your taste.