Turkish Apple Tea: Enjoy this Flavorful Brew
Brewed tea is recognized as the national soft drink of Turkey and is consumed in far greater quantities than coffee or other beverages. The country grows nearly all of what it drinks from the large tea plantations located on the Black Sea coast.
Robust black tea and apple-flavored tea are among the most popular choices... and are typically available any time of the day or night from a plethora of tea houses, street vendors, tea gardens and retailers.
Among Turkey’s treasured brews, Turkish apple tea – referred to as Elma Çay – is growing in demand globally. It is a soothing hot beverage during cold winter months and a refreshing thirst quencher in the summer when served over ice.
The popular tea is made from quality black tea leaves that are enhanced with apple flavoring and spices. Some apple tea blends also feature other fruits, herbs and plants that provide a unique taste alternative.
Turkish tea may be blended with blackberry leaves, hibiscus flowers, pineapple and/or lemon to create a zesty brew that can be served hot or cold.
Traditionally, all Turkish tea is brewed samovar-style, with a small pot of intensely strong tea sitting on a larger vessel of boiling water.
The tea is poured into clear curved glass cups and diluted with hot water to the desired strength. Turks typically use cubed sugar to sweeten their brew.
According to Jane Pettigrew in her book, The Tea Companion, some households in Turkey keep a pot of tea constantly on the fire, adding fresh, hot water to the leaves before serving.
The author further points out that tea is so important to domestic life, that mothers make sure that future daughters-in-law know how to brew it correctly for the rest of the family.