Tea & Coffee, Istanbul
When you ask a Turkish citizen to think of Turkish coffee, "Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi" is the one brand which always comes to mind.
Named after its founder, "Mehmet Efendi", the company is one of the most well known brands in the country and has been specialising in top quality roasted and freshly ground coffee for over 130 years.
Now run by the grandchildren of Mehmet Efendi, this richly decadent coffee remains wildly popular in Istanbul, and makes for a perfect gift for yourself or others.
The coffee comes in three varieties: "Filter", "Espresso" and "Turkish Coffee" and is packaged in 100g, 250g and 500g boxes. There is also cacao available.
"Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi" can be purchased online or in person from their store next to the "Spice Bazaar".
Customers are advised to follow their nose, for the rich scent of coffee will take you to this narrow but always crowded store on the backstreets of "Eminonu". There is often a line running down the street with keen locals looking to stock up on Turkish coffee.
You can go there as walking through the main Eminonu entrance of the Spice Bazaar. Just before you reach the end, turn right and the "Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi" store is straight ahead.
I strongly advise you to taste this great coffee ... :)
Actually the "Turkish Tea" is different when compared to other teas all over the world as it is prepared from dried black tea leaves generally coming from Karadeniz, the East Black Sea coast.
For preparation, tea is boiled for hours and hence its more dense, strong and black. It’s usually softened with extra hot water or left along with a more strong taste. This is the basic daily drink of most of the Turkish people, usually a couple per person depending on the occupation, even more.
Tea is served during breakfasts and after each meal (even dinner). Actually there is no time frame for consuming tea in Turkey. It’s the first thing offered to anyone visiting anywhere. It’s a reflection of hospitality, kindles that evolves eventually into a nice conversation.
The red/white striped lower plate is like a trademark, the slim, delicate glass is very important for the tea tradition. The glass should be thin and should be delicate like “the waist of a beautiful lady” as some locals quote.
The best places to have such tea would be in small local tea houses that are traditional and not touristic. You can find such places in the Old Town near Sultanahmet area or on Istiklal Street on the back streets.
Being a coffee lover, I assumed that I was going to love Turkish coffee. But after my first glass of Turkish tea (cay), I was hooked!! We found every excuse to stop in one of the many cafes for a glass or two several times a day - so relaxing!!
Cay is served with sugar but no milk. It is served in a smallish tulip shaped glass (some have handles). There are flavored teas as well - apple, mint, rosehip, etc. but we stayed with the non-flavored tea.
Don't forget to purchase tea leaves to bring home for delicious memories to last long after your trip!
Everybody seems to drink tea in a little glass all day every day at 1 TL or less. Tea sellers on ferries with there trays of tea, or by the seats near blue mosque. The sellers go around with there call of Cay C ay Cay ! I liked the tea, but Turkish coffee is thick like mud, so if you want a coffee english style ask for instant or Nescafe. Bottles of water are on sale everywhere from koisks. The local beer is Efes. I enjoyed a beer upstairs in the Turkish Pub in Istikial Cad.
Yes I drank TEA, hard to believe, me an American who has not drank Tea since we threw all the English tea into the sea in Boston....^O^
But here in Turkey it is the national drink...yes TEA, not Coffee, even though the coffee is called "Turkish Coffee". The tea has no special name, just TEA. It is usually served in a small hourglass shaped glass with several cubes of sugar alongside. If you get served the tea in a procelin cup with handle it means they have spotted a tourist and it costs 3-4 times as much. Most of the places served for 1-1.5 Turkish Lira and on the ferry boat it was only 0.5...but in the "fancy" places we saw it for 5-6 and even 7...
Original Turkish coffee is not made in a coffe machine but in a special kind of pot,called "djezve".You put the pot on the hot-plate,full with water/2 cups/ and 2-3 tea spoons of coffee.Then it starts heating and when starts boiling,the water moves up and you should remove it.The coffee is ready and you can serve it.This way it keeps it's taste.
One thing I really got into while in Istanbul was drinking tea almost every chance I got. Drinking tea is almost mandatory here. Nevermind the fact the fact that it is really tasty, if you like very strong, hot tea that is, but here having a glass of tea is more of a social experience. People in restaurants, places of business, cafes, even on the street, enjoy striking up a conversation while sipping tea. The tea is traditionally served in a small tulip-shaped glass, with a small spoon to stir in sugar cubes. You can get it either "koyu", strong, or "açik", weak, then dump in as many sugar cubes as you like. While trotting around Istanbul, make a few stops along the way and enjoy a refreshing glass of tea!
while waiting for my shish kebab the waiter bought a glass of tea for me.
very nice flavour and gives you apetite and best of all you dont need much water while eating which is no good for you.I had about 5 or 6 glasses of this tea every day,try it if you come to Istanbul.
Year round - winter, spring, summer or fall – tea served in little gold-rimmed glasses is the most popular beverage in Istanbul. It is offered on every conceivable occasion. With a Polish mother-in-law, I am used to the idea of every meal ending with a steaming hot glass of tea. But the Turkish custom goes beyond mealtime. It seems to accompany all human interaction. Shopkeepers offer you tea to draw you into their shops and get you to look at their wares. No transaction is closed without an offer of tea. The men huddled around their backgammon games in outdoor cafes always have glasses of tea within arm’s reach. Tea sellers walk around the parks and bazaars balancing brass trays laden with glasses of tea.
Turkey, of course, is not alone in its tea obsession. The English, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Russians – they all love their tea and have invented all sorts of ceremonies and rituals to go along with it. Turks drink their tea dark and sweet, and without milk. But “elma chay” - apple tea - is the tea of choice for many tourists.
Now, I’m not knocking apple tea. I liked it very much and drank a lot of it in Istanbul. But here’s an interesting factoid for you. It’s not tea. It’s hot apple juice.
At a restaurant near our hotel on our first night in Istanbul, we did have “apple tea” brewed from teabags. This is what tea mavens would call a “fruit infusion.” To qualify as real tea, the beverage in question must be made from the leaves of a plant called Camellia sinensis. All the other “apple tea” we drank in Istanbul was simply apple syrup diluted with boiling water.
I found the famous turkish coffee a delicious drink! I drank many while I was in Istanbul.
It's not only a drink it's a ritual! Turkish coffee is prepared with the coffee powder and also served with it. The powder sinks to the bottom of the cup and you can appreciate the delicious coffee. It's very strong but very differnt from our regular coffee. I had mine with almost no sugar, bitter, and loved it!
Tea is the national hot drink of Turkey. In Turkey, tea is not drunk from porcelain cups or mugs but in glass cups.
There are two types of tea: "koyu cay", the strong one and "acik cay" the light one. Beisdes that , one that is very popular with tourists is the "elma cayi", an apple tea. You can find this anywhere in Turkey. They sell them in small packets.
You can also buy tea from the "tea men" , who abound in Sultanahmet, next to the mosques, dressed with typical colourful clothes.
I'll just start out by saying that I am not a coffee drinker. Never really liked the stuff. So I wasn't really excited about trying Turkish coffee, but wanting to try anything and everything I could while I was here, i gave it a shot! I have to say that I was plesantly surprised. I really enjoyed it, and I had some everyday for the rest of my time in Istanbul, and continue to enjoy it to this day. The differences between Turkish coffee and other types of coffee are of course it's being quite strong, and the fact that it is very finely ground. But the big difference is in the way it is prepared. A couple of spoonfuls of the coffee are added to hot water in a "cezve", the small stovetop pot that is used to make it. The mixture is not stirred, and while heating up, it starts to rise to the top of the cezve. When it gets to the top, a small portion is poured into a Turkish coffee cup, which is small in size, similar to an espresso cup. Then the cezve is placed back on the stove until the coffee rises again, and then some more is poured into the cup. This is repeated 1 or 2 more times until the cup is full, and then it's ready to be served. Occasionally a little sugar is added to the coffee while in the cezve, but I tend to like it without. Definately something to try though while in Turkey!
If there's something that's typical of Turkey - coffee aside - is cai. cai is tea, and tea here is delicious. Tea is served and drunk very sweet - most people add even some extra sugar (I'm so Turkish in this!).
The best type of tea I found in istanbul is elma cai - which is apple tea. It's very tasty and refreshing. regulat tea is great, too - but elma cai is peculiar.
When you have just completed a purchase at a bazaar, take a few minutes and enjoy a small glass of tea with the proprietor. It's only polite, it warms the soul, and it tastes mighty nice. A lump of sugar, a little lemon, and you are set.
Don't be surprise if you walk pass coffee shops and see cups upside down.
It is traditional in Turkish culture to have your fortune- or lack of it- read .
Drink as much as you can of your coffee, then turn around the cup, wait for it to cool down and... accept what you are told.
I was skeptical at the beginning but impress at the end.