I traveled to Turkey in 2015 to attend the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli at ANZAC Cove. We spent some amazing weeks in Istanbul and Kusadasi enjoying their hospitality, food, culture and immersing ourselves in the history. One of the things the Turks are very proud of is their “Top Tea Drinker” status in the world, on average the Turks consume 3.16kg of tea per person annually. New Zealand ranks at number 7 which is pretty impressive for a country of less than 5 million people.
Rize is a black tea produced in the Rize Province on the eastern coast of Turkey, bordering the Black Sea. Rize Tea when brewed, is a rich mahogany colour and is traditionally served with beet sugar crystals (toz şeker) or sugar cubes (kesme şeker). Tea drinking is a very social thing for the Turks and we were offered copious amounts of Turkish Apple Tea (Elma Cay) while shopping throughout Istanbul. It is a beautiful soothing hot tea during the cooler months but can be just as enjoyable and rather refreshing when served over ice during the warmer climate. Apple tea is made from quality black tea leaves that are flavoured with apple and spices. Each province does things a little differently and uses a variety of fruits and spices to flavour the tea. If you get the chance you must try it ♥