Have you had Çay?
“Çay” – Tea (pronounced chai in Turkish) is an obsession, an addiction,
a daily routine, a ritual, a welcome gesture, a conversation starter, a break from work, a Turkish breakfast companion, a pastime favourite and so much more. As a visitor to a shop, a public office, a friends’ house in Turkey you are often served a cup of hot crimson tea with two tiny sugar cubes on a saucer and a little spoon to stir. Being offered çay encompasses everything from“Hello, how are you? Come in. sit down, rest”. Cay goes hand in hand with Turkish hospitality.
While there is a good deal of symbolic meaning to the Turkish tea drinking its very taste is important too. Turkish tea is normally black and most of it is cultivated domestically on the Black Sea coast. Çay is brewed using two stacked kettles called çaydanlik – the bottom part is for the boiling water while the upper one is for the brewing tea. Çay
is served in small tulip shaped cups and consumed hot, without milk.
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