Drinking Tea: Turkish Style

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Here at Niagara we do a lot of tea drinking. The Americans in the office try to catch up, but it is truly impossible to drink as much tea as the Turks in the office do, which is why this graph from Quartz came as no surprise as it made its way around the office via email this past weekend.

This came as no surprise to the staff at Niagara.

This came as no surprise to the staff at Niagara.

Turkish tea is different from the American-style tea that I personally grew up drinking. There are no Lipton tea bags here (no offense to Lipton, of course)! Instead, we have an electric tea pot that heats water on the bottom, with super strong loose leaf tea brewing on top. To make a glass of tea, first you heat the water on the bottom, warm the dry leaves in the teapot on top, and when the water is hot on the bottom, add some of it to the teapot.

I have to say, the Americans (and even some of the Turks) in the office are suspicious of the necessity of actually warming the dry leaves before adding the hot water. A few of us have even been caught cheating and adding boiling water from the water fountain to speed up the process, before being told that the tea we’re making is not “real Turkish tea.”

Niagara's Turkish teapot in action

Niagara’s Turkish teapot in action

A glass of Turkish tea, in the customary tulip shaped clear glass, is filled with about half of the strong brewed tea from the tea pot and half hot water from the pot below. You can vary the strength of your tea based on the ratio of tea to water.

According to a report by Market Research Monitor, Over 90 percent of the Turkish public drinks tea at least once a day. Also, our experience with our Turkish co-workers seems to be common throughout Turkey because according to the same report, “Turkish consumers drink tea at home, at work, when visiting friends and at school. In every work place, there is at least one tea maker employed solely to make tea and coffee. When visiting friends, the first thing that guests will be offered is tea in small traditional tea glasses.” I can attest that all of our guests are offered multiple glasses of tea during their visits to our office. If you’re in the Loop, stop on by sometime to try it!

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