Turkey is one of the five countries that produce the most tea in the world. The Turkish tea culture is so big that it can be said that this country produces almost 10 percent of the tea consumed worldwide. Fanaticism is so great that, according to TRT, Turkey produces an annual harvest of 1.2 million tons of tea.
In addition, just a few days ago, at the request of Turkey and Azerbaijan, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included the Turkish tea culture on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is not surprising, then, that tea is part of the daily life of practically all the people who live here.
What is the tea culture in Turkey?
In Turkey, offering guests tea or coffee is a way of showing friendship and hospitality. They can offer you tea at home, in bazaars, in restaurants, in bars... even in some hairdressers. In this country, tea is so ingrained in the culture that it is even part of the character of its residents. It's like a ritual, something essential in any meeting with friends, family or acquaintances.
Tea can also be enjoyed in the tea garden, known in Turkish as 'çay bahçesi'. They are usually very special spaces, whether exterior or interior, where you can enjoy a good Turkish tea. You can find more fruity teas, made out of apple or orange, for example, and others with a more herbal flavor. Although the favorite of most Turks is black tea.
If you want to delve even deeper into the Turkish tea culture, here are seven tea shops that you cannot miss in Istanbul. We hope you enjoy it!
We suggest you the following tea route
- Melez Tea Lab. On the beginning list is Melez Tea Lab, a tea shop where you can also sit down and enjoy some of their best drinks. It is located in Sarıyer and has a very modern and delicate style.
- Chado Tea. This site is a must! Chado Tea has different locations in Istanbul: Arnavutköy, Nişantaşı and Cihangir. We recommend you go to the one in Nişantaşı, as it is the most accessible and popular one. The place is very pretty and the tea they serve is delicious. They have Turkish teas, but you will also find other more international options, such as oolong tea, Moroccan mint, matcha tea...
- Moda Çay Bahçesi. People come to this site mainly for views. It is located in Kadıköy, is a very local place and has privileged views of the Marmara Sea. We recommend you come to this place when the weather is good, to be able to enjoy its terrace, with a traditional Turkish tea in hand.
- Dem Moda. Do you want a more chic option? Dem Moda's style is very careful and that's appreciated in everything they do. The decoration is very delicate and the breakfasts they serve are very original. It is a good place to have tea... and also to try its famous cheesecake.
- Pierre Loti. This restaurant may be one of the most popular places in Istanbul. Located in Eyüpsultan, Pierre Loti is a restaurant with spectacular views of the Golden Horn. It bears this name to pay tribute to a French writer who lived for years in the city. If you have free time, come here to have tea with a view of the sea.
- Cha’ya Moda. Write down the name of this site well, because it will be unforgettable. It is a tea room located in Kadıköy, where in addition to drinking tea, you can also enjoy some spectacular Mantı, the famous Turkish dumplings. If you're still hungry, try one of their homemade desserts.
- Monster Teashop. This place is for the most daring, for those who are open to other experiences. Have you ever heard of bubble tea? It is a drink that comes from Taiwan and has become very popular in recent years. Also known as boba tea, this drink consists of combining tea with milk and tapioca, gelatinous pearls made from cassava root. Really, you have to try it!
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