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Turkish tea -- what is it?

katydid13 Apr 17, 2008 07:46 AM

Can anyone explain how Turkish tea differs from other loose-leaf teas? My mom picked some up in a little Turkish market last week, and we were shocked by how cheap it was -- $3 a pound. We're used to paying $15-$20 for good English breakfast tea. Is there anything in it that isn't tea, some kind of filler? We haven't had time to open it yet or try the double-boiler teakettle system you're supposed to use it with, but I'm wondering if any Hounds have experience with it....thanks!

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  1. sfumato RE: katydid13 Apr 17, 2008 08:12 AM

    Did you happen to buy elma çayı (herbal apple tea) by mistake? If it's pre-packaged, is there English writing anywhere?

    We buy it (in addition to black tea), and I do find that it's usually a bit cheaper. If that's what you got, don't worry- it's delicious!

    2 Replies
    1. re: sfumato
      greedygirl RE: sfumato Apr 17, 2008 08:25 AM

      My thoughts exactly. I really like apple tea, but it's not really tea at all, mainly sugar and flavourings.

      1. re: sfumato
        katydid13 RE: sfumato Apr 17, 2008 09:07 AM

        I'm not sure because my mom has the tea; I'll have her check the packaging! Thanks for the tip.

      2. x
        xanadude RE: katydid13 Apr 17, 2008 09:23 AM

        There are various grades of tea; a basic 'china black' looseleaf tea should be about $3-$4 a lb, which is probably what this is equivalent to.

        3 Replies
        1. re: xanadude
          katydid13 RE: xanadude Apr 17, 2008 12:58 PM

          The package says siyah cay and (elsewhere) Schwarzer tee.

          1. re: katydid13
            Kahraman RE: katydid13 Apr 17, 2008 03:19 PM

            it's probably normal Turkish tea, cultivated from the black sea region/ Rize province..it does taste a little different than English breakfast tea, a bit lighter.


            1. re: katydid13
              jjones21 RE: katydid13 Apr 17, 2008 09:34 PM

              Siyah cay literally means black tea. Definitely not apple tea!

          2. p
            ptuzla RE: katydid13 May 1, 2008 08:23 AM

            Turkish tea is somewhat different kind of tea plant, suitable for preparing a la "Turkish style" as described here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_tea
            It is often referred to as "strong" and full-flavored but, this is due to brewing for more than 20 minutes, large amounts of loose-leaf teas in relatively small amounts of water. This is than diluted with hot water before serving. Even after dilution the taste of long duration brewing is prominent.
            If you however try to prepare it in the traditional way (i.e. not traditional Turkish way) there won't be necessary amounts of infusion hence flavor (and also color) and its taste will be immature hence far inferior.
            I'd like to hear about your experience, though if you've tried them.

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