Turkish Tulip Tea Cup

Turkey was westernized by Tea Drinking??

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Does Tea Drinking contribute to transforming Turkey into a more westernized nation? Turkey is the Largest tea consumption country in the World and here is the story behind it.

Photo by Yunus Tuğ from Pexels

Istanbul, Turkey is the first foreign nation that I set foot in. So, my love story with Istanbul and Turkey is endless. Let’s begin the real talk…

If someone asked,

Q: What is the most tea consuming country on the Planet?

A: It’s Turkey

And the UK is the runner-up. Did Turkey adopt this tea-drinking tradition to more Westernize their culture?

Why do Turkish people love Tea? Let’s find out.

Before coming to the answers to those questions, let’s learn about Turkey and Tea. you will be surprised to learn that Turkey produces between 6% to 10% of the globe’s tea. In fact, Turkey is one of the top five tea-growing nations in the entire world. It means they produce in some significant numbers as well as consumption. By 2021 Kenya is the top tea producer on Planet and Sri Lanka holds the second place as they lost their crown in recent history. Sri Lanka (Previously known as Ceylon under British rule) was the top tea producer in the World for decades in history. But, recently they lost their crown as a result of the nationalistic unstable economic policy of the country. In fact, they get used to hating their only word crown as their local anti-western extremists made a bad image about cultivating tea. Anway, Turkey is the third-largest tea producer just after Indonesia and Vietnam are in the top five.

Tulip Vessel and its Secret

Turkish Tulip Tea Cup
Photo by Hasan Albari from Pexels

Turkish Tea is served in a very special glass and it is a transparent tulip-shaped small glass. You can see it largely in Turkish television and movie productions. So much tea is drunk each year from these delicate glass vessels that over 400 million of them are sold annually in Turkey. In fact, these tea glasses are part of the Turkish lifestyle that they are used as an accepted vessel of measurement for cooking recipes.

While no one has been able to definitively pin down the origins of the tulip shape, the reason for the choice of glass seems to stem from the ability that this material gives drinkers to see and appreciate the rich, crimson colour of Turkish tea.

Turkish tea is not served with milk as UK and west. It is strong dark black tea and Lemon and Sugar are optional add the enhance the taste.

In Turkey, tea drinking is an accepted and valued part of life. Turks begin consuming this beverage with breakfast and continue sipping throughout the day. Tea tends to accompany most of the rituals and rites of life in Turkey. Serving and drinking tea together is a token of friendship. And, in workplaces throughout the land, tea breaks are legally mandated rights by law of the land – with two required during the course of each working day.

The vast majority of Turkey’s tea leaves are grown along its Black Sea coastline, in the north of the country. The tea-growing territory stretches eastward, from the city of Rize, along the shoreline all the way to the boundary with Georgia. Rize province – with its mild climate,

high rainfall levels and fertile soil – yields a flavourful black tea. The orient tea flavours are not dark. Dark tea flavours are the favourite of Europeans and Westerners and not the Far East.

History of Tea influence

Although enjoying a centuries-long history in Turkey, tea truly only claimed the prominent position it currently holds in that country, due to game-changing events that took place in the first quarter of the 20th century. When the Ottoman Empire fell, in the aftermath of World War I, Turkey lost control of crucial coffee-generating provinces within its south-eastern territories. As a result, coffee became too expensive to consume on the mass scale in which Turks had previously enjoyed it.

His Excellency Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (First Prime Minister of Turkey) / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Common

Instead, with encouragement from the country’s leader at the time, Atatürk, Turkey began to replace their coffee culture with a similar alternative mostly used by their western neighbourhood. As you know, Coffee is so significant to Arabic which is Turkey’s eastern

neighbourhood. In part, because it could be easily grown and made domestically, and partially because it fit in better with Atatürk’s plans to secularise and westernise his nation, Turkey began to embrace a new drink – tea.

So, Visit Turkey. Enjoy their traditional tulip cup of tea. What do you prefer to drink with tea?

Milk, Lemon or Something else? Let us know in the comments. We are so excited to learn something new about your own tea culture.

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