Turkish tea, called çay,(pronounced Chai)is a black tea which is consumed without milk, is produced on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. Turkish tea is typically prepared using two stacked kettles (çaydanlık) specially designed for tea preparation.

A Caydanlik

 

Water is brought to a boil in the larger lower kettle and then some of the water is used to fill the smaller kettle on top and steep several spoons of loose tea leaves, producing a very strong tea. When served, the remaining water is used to dilute the tea on an individual basis, giving each consumer the choice between strong (Turkish: koyu; literally “dark”) or weak (Turkish: açık; literally “light”). Tea is drunk from small glasses to enjoy it hot in addition to showing its colour, with cubes of (Turkish: kesme şeker); beet sugar.

In 2004 Turkey produced 205,500 tonnes of tea (6.4% of the world’s total tea production), which made it one of the largest tea markets in the world Furthermore, in 2004, Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world, at 2.5 kg per person—followed by the United Kingdom (2.1 kg per person).

 

 

Tea is an important part of the Turkish culture. Offering tea to guests is part of Turkish hospitality, tea is most often consumed in households, shops and mostly kıraathane, which is social congregation of Turkish men. Despite its popularity, tea became the widely consumed beverage of choice in Turkey only in the 20th century. It was initially encouraged as an alternative to coffee, which had become expensive and at times unavailable in the aftermath of World War I. Upon the loss of southeastern territories after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, coffee became an expensive import. At the urging of the founder of the republic, Atatürk, Turks turned more to tea as it was easily sustainable by domestic sources.

Turkish tea is traditionally offered in small tulip-shaped glasses which are usually held by the rim, in order to save the drinker’s fingertips from being burned, as the tea is served boiling hot.

 

 

 

 

How to Make, Serve and Drink

 

 

An obsession, an addiction, a daily routine, a ritual, a welcome gesture, a conversation starter, a break from work, a Turkish breakfast companion, a pastime favorite and what not. These are many roles and faces of the Turkish tea. As a visitor to a shop, a public office, a friends’ house in Turkey you are often served a tulip-shaped glass of hot crimson tea with two tiny sugar cubes on a saucer and a little spoon to stir. And the pleasure of hugging that beautiful glass with your fingers and feeling the warmth of the tea on your palm does its magic as it comforts you and lets the conversation flow.

While there is a good deal of symbolic meaning to the Turkish tea drinking its very taste is important too. Turkish tea is normally black and most of it is cultivated domestically on the Black Sea coast. However, you will get amazed by the varieties in the taste of the seemingly same tea you will encounter in Istanbul or other places in Turkey as different tea makers would have their own brand preferences, own blends of different teas and a bunch of tea making tricks too.

On my first visit to Turkey I bought a large pack of Turkish tea to take home and was largely disappointed with the results I could produce with it. There was clearly some secret to discover and so I came back.

I have found that the way the Turkish tea is brewed is very close to the traditional samovar technology in Russia. In case with samovar a very strong tea brew (zavarka) is prepared in a porcelain tea pot that gets placed on top of the samovar so the brew stays hot. The tea is served by diluting the brew with hot water from the samovar body.

Turks, absolute geniuses of shortcuts, have created a great shortcut in the tea brewing too: they developed a construction of two stacked kettles called çaydanlık – the bottom part is for the boiling water while the upper one is for the tea brew. Here is how you go about making Turkish tea

 

How to Make Turkish Tea

While making Turkish tea seems to be the domain of the tea house patrons and young Turkish brides it is not so hard to master for anybody

Prep Time: 5 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Total Time:
25 Min

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup black tea leaves
  • 1 L water for tea brew
  • 1 L water for serving
  • sugar to taste

Directions

  1. Fill the bottom kettle with 2 L hot/boiling water and bring to boil at the high heat on your stove top.
  2. Meanwhile, put the tea leaves into a fine sieve and rinse them with cold water to remove the tea dust. Drain well. Transfer the washed and drained tea leaves into the upper kettle and stack the upper kettle on top of the bottom one.
  3. Once the water in the bottom kettle is boiled, pour half into the upper kettle to brew the tea. Reduce the heat to medium and let the tea in the upper kettle get brewed over the steam coming from the bottle kettle.
  4. Pour out some tea brew (with a Turkish tea glass the rule of thumb will be to pour out the brew to the waist, the narrowest point of the glass) and then dilute it with water
  5. Reduce the heat to low to keep your tea warm as you’ll be serving a few rounds. Once the tea drinking is over turn off the heat.

Making tea is just a half of the deal in Turkey as it is very important to know how you serve it in a proper way. Some of my learnings have come hard way so I will share them to spare you embarrassments while you are in Istanbul or elsewhere in Turkey. Once I served the tea that was looked at and immediately poured out on the ground. This was how I’ve learned that the tea in Turkey can be served in a variety of ways between the two extremes – koyu (dark, strong) and açık (light, weak). I put too little tea brew and the tea came way too weak so I nearly insulted the person without knowing. The distinction and the Turkish words are useful to know if you are particular about your Turkish tea preferences and would like to order it the way you like – strong or weak.

On the other occasion the head of the workers team came down to the kitchen around 5 pm and I was asked to serve him tea. Asked in such a way that assumed that I should have known that a visitor should be served a cup of tea without saying. Ok, noted down. But once I did I had revealed my lack of awareness of one more custom again: I did put sugar in it while you don’t do it here in Turkey. On the contrary to the Turkish coffee that is served  already sweet – you rather serve a bowl of sugar cubes on the side and people add it to their tea as they please. What I saw is care have appeared to be an interference into the sacred ritual of the Turkish tea drinking.

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Coffee and qahwa:
How a drink for Arab mystics went global.

The Arab world has given birth to many thinkers and many inventions – among them the three-course meal, alcohol and coffee. The best coffee bean is still known as Arabica, but it’s come a long way from the Muslim mystics who treasured it centuries ago, to the chains that line our high streets

Think coffee, and you probably think of an Italian espresso, a French cafe au lait, or an American double grande latte with cinnamon.

Perhaps you learned at school that the USA became a nation of coffee drinkers because of the excise duty King George placed on tea? Today ubiquitous chains like Starbucks, Cafe Nero and Costa grace every international airport, and follow the now much humbler Nescafe as symbols of globalisation.

Coffee is produced in hot climates like Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Vietnam and Indonesia, and you could be forgiven if you thought it is a product from the New World like tobacco and chocolate. After all, all three became popular in Europe at more or less the same time, in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

In fact, coffee comes from the highland areas of the countries at the southern end of the Red Sea – Yemen and Ethiopia.

Although a beverage made from the wild coffee plant seems to have been first drunk by a legendary shepherd on the Ethiopian plateau, the earliest cultivation of coffee was in Yemen and Yemenis gave it the Arabic name qahwa, from which our words coffee and cafe both derive.

Qahwa originally meant wine, and Sufi mystics in Yemen used coffee as an aid to concentration and even spiritual intoxication when they chanted the name of God

By 1414, it was known in Mecca and in the early 1500s was spreading to Egypt from the Yemeni port of Mocha. It was still associated with Sufis, and a cluster of coffee houses grew up in Cairo around the religious university of the Azhar. They also opened in Syria, especially in the cosmopolitan city of Aleppo, and then in Istanbul, the capital of the vast Ottoman Turkish Empire, in 1554.

In Mecca, Cairo and Istanbul attempts were made to ban it by religious authorities. Learned shaykhs discussed whether the effects of coffee were similar to those of alcohol, and some remarked that passing round the coffee pot had something in common with the circulation of a pitcher of wine, a drink forbidden in Islam.

Coffee houses were a new institution in which men met together to talk, listen to poets and play games like chess and backgammon. They became a focus for intellectual life and could be seen as an implicit rival to the mosque as a meeting place.

Some scholars opined that the coffee house was “even worse than the wine room”, and the authorities noted how these places could easily become dens of sedition. However, all attempts at banning coffee failed, even though the death penalty was used during the reign of Murad IV (1623-40). The religious scholars eventually came to a sensible consensus that coffee was, in principle, permissible.

Coffee spread to Europe by two routes – from the Ottoman Empire, and by sea from the original coffee port of Mocha.

Both the English and Dutch East India Companies were major purchasers at Mocha in the early 17th Century, and their cargoes were brought home via the Cape of Good Hope or exported to India and beyond. They seem, however, to have only taken a fraction of Yemeni coffee production – as the rest went north to the rest of the Middle East.

Coffee also arrived in Europe through trade across the Mediterranean and was carried by the Turkish armies as they marched up the Danube. As in the Middle East, the coffee house became a place for men to talk, read, share their opinions on the issues of the day and play games.

Another similarity was that they could harbour gatherings for subversive elements. Charles II denounced them in 1675 as “places where the disaffected met, and spread scandalous reports concerning the conduct of His Majesty and his Ministers”.

A century later Procope, the famous Parisian coffee house, had such habitues as Marat, Danton and Robespierre who conspired together there during the Revolution.

At first, coffee had been viewed with suspicion in Europe as a Muslim drink, but around 1600 Pope Clement VIII is reported to have so enjoyed a cup that he said it would be wrong to permit Muslims to monopolise it, and that it should therefore be baptised.

Austrian coffee drinking is said to have received a big boost when the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 was broken, and the European victors captured huge coffee supplies from the vanquished.

Perhaps that is why, to this day, coffee is served in Vienna with a glass of water – just like the tiny cups of powerful Turkish coffee with its heavy sediment in Istanbul, Damascus or Cairo. Is this just a coincidence, or a long forgotten cultural borrowing?

 

The beverage we call “Turkish coffee” is actually a partial misnomer, as Turkey is just one of the countries where it is drunk. In Greece they call it “Greek coffee”, although Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians and others do not seem to care overmuch about the name.

But there are other coffee drinking traditions in the Arab world. The coffee which is native to the Gulf is bitter and sometimes flavoured with cardamom or other spices.

It is often served a decent interval after a guest has arrived – to serve it too soon might be an impolite suggestion of haste – and then once again before departure.

It often comes just before or after a small glass cup of black, sweet tea. The order in which the two beverages are served varies, and seems to have no significance. What is remarkable for a Western visitor is the idea that the two very different drinks should be offered in such quick succession.

Sadly, however, while coffee has gone truly global production has declined in Yemen, the victim of cheap imports and rival crops like the narcotic qat.

In 2011, Yemen exported a mere 2,500 tonnes although there are attempts to revive cultivation of the best coffee in its original home. Today, none of the Arab countries is listed among the world’s significant producers.

 

  • The Arabs invented the concept of the three-course meal, with soup followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts – the habit was brought across to Moorish Spain in the 9th Century from Iraq
  • Alcohol may have been distilled in c800AD by Jabir Ibn Hayyan from Kufa in Iraq, and our word “alcohol” derives from the Arabic “al kuhul”… many Arab countries, like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco, make wines and beers, even though Islam does not permit the drinking of alcohol

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Bodrum Dive Sites

Bodrum has several diving spots hosting several kinds of Mediterranean type of underwater species and 3 artificial reef wrecks. The visibility is always clear like between 15mt-30mt. in all times of the year. Most of the spots are suitable fo taking a diving course for all levels.

On all dives you may expect to see; parrot fish, bass, bream, nudibranch,tube worms, sponges, octopus, moray eel, grouper. You may also often to see barracuda, jack fish, stingray.Occasionally dolphin and turle may be seen.

Please continue to read to find the details of the Bodrum dive spots.

 

This year my Diving with Motif Diving Centre with their Glass Bottomed boat

You want to check out their Photo Gallery and see why Bodrum is so good

Motif Photo Gallery

 

Visibility
April, May, June, October
10mt – 20mt
July, August, September
20mt – 30mt
Water Temperatures
April
18C°-20C°
May
18C°-22C°
June
22C°-24C°
July
22C°-24C°
August
24C°-26C°
September
26C°-28C°
October
23C°-26C°

 

Dive Spots of Bodrum

Big Reef (A)

Small Reef (B)

Reef Diving – Medium Difficulty -Current Possibility Reef Diving – Medium Difficulty -Current Possibility
Depth: 5mt-35mt Depth: 5mt-32mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?Top of reef: Octopus, many small species, scorpion fish

20mt-30mt: Gorgonian sponges, large groupers, white groupers, barracuda, moray eel

What to see?Octopus, many small species, scorpion fish, large groupers, white groupers, barracuda, moray eel
One of the most popular dive spot of Bodrum. You may expect to see the schools of barracuda most of the times. Look out for the large resident of scorpion fish on top of the reef.

 

SG 115 Wreck (C)

PINAR 1 Wreck (D)

Wreck Dive – Artificial Reef – Easy Dive Wreck Dive – Artificial Reef – Medium Difficulty
Max Depth.: 26mt Max Depth.: 36mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?Old coast guard ship wreck (29mt), octopus, many small species, squideggs, nudibranch What to see?Old Navy Ship Wreck (37mt), octopus, many small species, moray eel, nudibranch
After leaving rocky coastline – across the neptune grass SG 115 looms in distance – stern in 17mt., bow in 26mt. Squid eggs growing on mast. Swim through the captain’s wheel house – back up to the stern, and then along across rocks back to our boat. Ship stern:18mt, bow:36mAfter swimming round outside of the ship, swim up to wheel house – enter large wheel house. many nudibranches, tube warms, and squid eggs growing on hull. After leaving ship interesting rock formations can be seen on the way back to the boat

 

C 47 DAKOTA Plane Wreck (E)

Smuggler’s Bay (F)

Wreck Dive – Artificial Reef – Easy Dive Easy Dive
Max Depth:25mt. Max Depth: 30mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?octopus, many small species, groupers What to see?Amphoras, groupers, stingray, large family of groupers, soldier fish, axe fish
Left side-gently sloping down to 20mt., pass the old fishing boat wrecks – continuing on in 20mt., then you spot the nose and propellers in the distance. Lying with one wing in 17mt. and the other in 25mt.. Enter through cargo hold and swim around looking out windows. Cockpit is now blocked. Swim out through cargo hold again and under the tail look for large groupers. leaving the plane and swimming back towards the boat.Do not forget to take one last look back. Sandy bay – maximum 9mt. – swim out of the bayeither to left or right.Right Side : Many amphoras, sandy bottom, stingray, large family of groupers, soldier fish

Left Side: Soldier fish, axe fish, groupers, rocky and sandy

 

Light House Bay (G)

Wolf Point (H)

Easy Dive Low – Medium Difficulty – Current Possibility
Max Depth: 20mt. Max Depth: 25mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?octopus, many small species, groupers, moray eel, baracuda What to see?Amphoras, moray eel, many small species, an old wreck of a car
Sandy bottom, 5 mt – under mooring cleaver wrasse, may find octopus. Spot is good for beginners. Slow descent out to 20mt. Thousands of small fish under the boat in 5mt. Very old amphora in 24 mt. on the corner- sometimes strong current – on return see the wreck of car in 8mt.

 

Kargı Island (I)

Kargı Island – Reef (J)

Island Dive – High Difficulty – Current Possibility Reef Dive – High Difficulty – Current Possibility
Max Depth: 25mt. Max Depth: 35mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?Pink trumpet sponges, groupers, barracuda What to see?Pink trumpet sponges, groupers, barracuda, moray eel
Island dive, swimming land on left – max 25 mt. Reef Dive – For advanced divers- Large groupers, moray eel, schools of barracuda, rock pinnacles, pink trumpet sponges.

 

Temel Bay (K)

Bubble cave (L)

Easy Dive Cave – Medium Difficulty
Max Depth: 30mt. Max Depth: 30mt
Visibility : 15mt – 30mt Visibility : 15mt – 30mt
What to see?Cuutle fish, Axe fish, Many small species What to see?grouper, sponges, lobsters, many small species
Swimming forward from the boat to the large cliff between 10mt and 30 mt. over the cliff swim under the overhang in 22 mt. and around to the right. Good dive for spotting cuttle fish and axe fish The cave in 12mt. There is light in cave. (But dont forget your torch for a better view) Easy to see many kinds of spongesand look for lobsters on the roof. One by one swim up the chimney and please be careful not to kick the sponges. Out of the chimney – in 4 mt. – all the bubbles breathed out in the cave come out through the cracks in the top.

 


also Chexk out the info on Happy Bubbles

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