Turkish Tea: An Introduction

Today on Talking Tea we’re exploring a tea origin and tea culture we haven’t yet visited on the show. Turkish tea isn’t widely known outside of Turkey, even though Turkey is a significant tea producer and has one of the largest per capita tea consumption rates in the world. To introduce us to this unique tea and tea culture, we’re joined by Aimée Lévesque, owner and founder of Le bruit de l’eau, an online and brick-and-mortar tea house located in Rimouski, Quebec.

Aimée tells us about her own tea journey and the impetus for her starting a tea house in her home town of Rimouski, located on the St. Lawrence River about 500 km northeast of Montreal. And then we delve into Turkish tea. We discuss the history of tea production in Turkey, from early attempts at tea growing to the establishing of tea agriculture in the Rize region of northeastern Turkey, as well as the influence of Georgian tea and the use of assamica and sinensis cultivars in tea production. We chat about Turkish tea culture, which is ubiquitous in Turkey, the uses and benefits of the uniquely shaped Turkish tea glasses, and methods of brewing Turkish tea, especially in the traditional tea pot known as a çaydanlık.

More information about Le bruit de l’eau, including the location of the teahouse, its online store and special event info, is at its website, lebruitdeleau.ca.  You can also find Le bruit de l’eau on Instagram at lebruitdeleau  and on Facebook at salondetherimouski

The article on design and aestheics in Turkish tea glasses Aimée references in the episode is at design-and-semantics-of-form-and-movement-desform-2010-november-3.

Nilgün Yalçın, the Turkish tea educator Aimée mentions, is on Instagram at @nnilgunyalcin

The tea we’re drinking in the episode is Hemşın Çayı from Çaykur.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @kensvoiceken

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The views and opinions expressed by guests on Talking Tea are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Talking Tea or its staff.

This podcast features music from “Japanese Flowers” (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

Image of Turkish tea served in glasses, courtesy of Aimee Levesque.

Header image “Raw Puerh mid 1980 Menghai” by Cosmin Dordea, used under a Creative Commons CC By-SA 2.0 license. Adapted from original.

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