Turkish tea, called çay (pronounced Chai) is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil.
In 2004 Turkey produced 205,500 tonnes of tea (6.4% of the world’s total tea production), which made it one of the largest tea markets in the world, with 120,000 tons being consumed in Turkey, and the rest being exported.
Furthermore, in 2004, Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world, at 2.5 kg per person—followed by the United Kingdom (2.1 kg per person). Tea is grown mostly in Rize Province on the Black Sea coast.
Şaziye Ilgaz heads the Technology Department and oversees research at the Caykur Ataturk Tea Research Institute in Rize, Turkey, located in the eastern part of the country’s Black Sea region and well known as the heart of Turkey’s tea industry. She says: “The most important fact about the tea industry in Turkey is related to our raw material. Because we use no pesticides in our tea gardens, our teas, whether black or green, are some of the safest in the world.”
Rize, Rize Province, Black Sea Region Characterized by its strong taste, when brewed it is mahogany in color.
Standard black tea brewing
Brew temperature 90-95 °C
Standard 200 ml water
4 g of tea
Brew times: 20 – 25 Minutes
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