Last updated: September 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big Turkish tea test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Turkish tea.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying Turkish tea.




The most important facts

  • Turkish tea is the national drink of Turkey and is also becoming increasingly popular in this country.
  • The tea is usually a cay, a black tea that is drunk sweet and strong.
  • Usually, the tea is prepared in a special kettle. In the meantime, however, bagged and instant teas have also become popular.

The Best Turkish Tea: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Turkish tea

Why Turkish tea?

Turkish tea is becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Cay (Turkish: tea), is usually a black tea and is the national drink par excellence in Turkey. Turkish tea is served at every suitable occasion.

Turkey is the country with the highest tea consumption per capita in the world and is a true lover of Turkish tea.

In Germany, Turkish tea is mainly known from Turkish restaurants, where it is usually offered free of charge. But Turkish tea is also offered in many households, and it is a good custom to offer a guest a cup of Cay.

Anyone who has ever eaten in a Turkish restaurant will know it: Turkish tea. It convinces with its intense and full-bodied taste. (Image source: unsplash.com / Kelvin Yan)

How much does Turkish tea cost?

Turkish tea is comparable in price to other types of tea. However, this also means that there are some differences in quality that can determine the price.

Did you know that there are teas that can cost up to $1000? Puh-Erh tea from China is a type of green tea that is supposed to help you lose weight and is becoming more and more popular, even in this country. Its degree of maturity is also special, because the tea becomes more valuable with age, as its flavour intensifies with age.

Nevertheless, there are some products that are a little more expensive because they are offered in large quantities or contain special ingredients. Therefore, when buying, always pay attention to the quantity indicated. Often, the large producers of Turkish tea also offer the same product in several sizes.

As a rule, the prices are as follows:

  • Turkish tea loose 4-40 pounds
  • Turkish tea in a bag: 2-10 pounds
  • Instant Turkish tea: 3-6 pounds

It is often worthwhile to compare the price between the different traders. Prices can vary from product to product.

What alternatives are there to Turkish tea?

In addition to Turkish tea, you can also choose teas from other tea-growing regions. The differences usually lie in the way they are grown, the way the tea is made and how it is prepared afterwards. We have presented some important tea-growing regions and their characteristics.

Tea-growing regions can be found around the globe, like here in India. (Image source: pixarbay.com / freephotos)

China

The land of discovery of tea. Tea was already cultivated there 5000 years ago. The tea plant eventually gave rise to two types of tea, which we know today as green tea and black tea, which are produced using different methods.

To this day, China is the largest tea producer on the market. China is also known for its oolong tea, a blend between green and black tea, and its white tea, a mild, slightly fruity tea.

South Africa

A major producer, known for its indigenous teas. Rooibos: a herbal tea that enjoys worldwide popularity. The taste is similar to black tea and less bitter and more intense. Honeybush: also known as mountain or cape tea. Has a natural honey sweetness and is popular to drink in the evening hours.

Japan

Next to China, probably the nation with the longest tea tradition. In Japan, almost exclusively green tea is produced and served. There are countless variations and ways of serving it. Japan is also the largest producer of matcha tea. This green tea in powder form is very popular and impresses with its high nutrient content, to which it owes its elaborate production process.

India

India has countless tea-growing regions, especially Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri. Green and black tea is produced in these regions. Each region is attributed special qualities for its tea, by which they are identified. India is one of the largest tea producers in the world.

Sri Lanka

Another large producer of various teas. There, tea cultivation accounts for about 60% of the total export. Tea from Sri Lanka has become known as Ceylon and is divided into three categories based on the altitude of the growing region: Lowgrowns (up to 650 metres), Mediums (650 - 1200 metres), Highgrowns (1200 metres and above).

The time of harvest is determined by the monsoon and the trade winds and thus different regions have different flavours. Ceylon is often used for Turkish tea, as it is very similar to the tea from the Turkish region of Rize.

Other noteworthy tea-growing regions are presented in this table:

Growing region Speciality
Vietnam 500 years old tea tradition. Famous for its green and oolong.
New Zealand Short tea history so far, but convincing with high quality Oolong.
Kenya One of the largest producers of tea, especially for the English-speaking world.
Nepal Another up-and-coming tea producer. Convinces with delicious Darjeeling.

Most of these tea-growing regions have their own traditions, which are linked to deeply rooted cultivation methods, harvesting times and irrigation systems that produce a wide variety of teas.

How is Turkish tea prepared correctly?

For the correct preparation of Turkish tea, you need a few tools that should conjure up the authentic, but above all tasteful, feeling of a real Turkish tea. The most important product is the caydanlik, the tea maker. Alternatively, you can also use the samovar, its Russian brother.

This samovar, the Russian alternative to a caydanlik, can be found in many Russian households. (Picture source: pixarbay.com / beeki)

This tea kettle has two kettles. In the lower, small kettle, the tea leaves are processed into a strong concentrate. The second kettle holds boiled water, which you can use to dilute the concentrate and enjoy your tea.

On ceremonial occasions, in restaurants, tea gardens and bars, a semaver is also often used. This is an enlarged form of the caydanlik.

With the Turkish tea glasses, a real Cay feeling comes up. These tulip-shaped tea glasses are often decorated with ornaments, unmistakable is the golden ring above the glass. The glass is transparent so that you can see how strong your Turkish tea is brewed.

Decision: What types of Turkish tea are there and which one is right for you?

In our decision section, we want to show you which common types of Turkish tea there are and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

We will introduce you to the following product types:

  • loose Turkish tea
  • turkish tea in a bag
  • turkish instant tea

In the following paragraphs, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

What distinguishes loose Turkish tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Loose tea leaves are usually used to enjoy Turkish tea. To do this, they are heated strongly in the tea kettle and the concentrate is diluted with boiling water.

A characteristic of loose Turkish tea is that, thanks to its large surface area, it passes on many flavours to the concentrate in the kettle. This gives it the unmistakable authentic taste for which it is so loved.

Advantages
  • Authentic tea feeling
  • More flavourful
  • Cup price cheaper Appealing
Disadvantages
  • Long preparation time
  • Auxiliaries needed
  • Acquisition costs higher

What are the characteristics of Turkish tea bags and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Bag tea is not normally used for Turkish tea, yet it is becoming increasingly popular. However, the quick and easy preparation method is often enough reason to also resort to the bag form.

It is a myth that the cuttings from loose tea are used for bag tea. For tea bags, the smallest leaf pieces of the tea plant are used. Because of their small surface, they quickly release flavour into the water, but cannot release all the flavours as large, loose leaves can. These leaves are called fannings.

The well-known producers of Turkish tea are offering more and more flavours in bag form. The most common variety, however, is the classic Cay, a black tea variety.

Advantages
  • Quick preparation
  • No additives needed
  • Intense flavour
Disadvantages
  • Fewer flavours
  • Less choice
  • Less tea feeling

What distinguishes Turkish instant tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Turkish instant tea is not a type of tea in that sense, but should rather be understood as a soft drink. For the sake of completeness, however, we have included instant tea in our decision section.

You can serve the tea very quickly and it can be drunk hot or cold. It comes in different flavours and is especially popular with children. The powder can also be used in the kitchen as an ingredient in pastries, puddings and cooking.

Advantages
  • Short preparation time
  • Can be enjoyed hot or cold
  • Versatile use
Disadvantages
  • High sugar content
  • Less tea feeling
  • Selection low

Because of its high sugar content, we recommend moderate use of instant tea. You should not drink more than three cups a day to minimise potential side effects.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate Turkish tea

We have compiled the most important factors you should look for when buying Turkish tea. In addition to our buying criteria, you should, if you have the opportunity, consult your local tea merchant. There you can get more tips and benefit from his experience with the tea business.

The most important buying criteria include:

  • Weight
  • Quality
  • Variety

In the following paragraphs, we show you what is important in each of the buying criteria.

Weight

As mentioned above, Turkish tea is sold in different sizes of packaging, which are in different price categories.

Loose Turkish tea is usually sold in 500g or 1kg packages. These quantities should be enough for the casual tea drinker for a while. In Turkey, tea is often sold in even larger quantities, starting at 2 KG, due to consumption.

The tea bags usually come in 500 gram packs. This is enough for 20-25 relaxing tea moments. The soluble tea is usually available in the 1Kg version.

Quality

Quality is a decisive characteristic of good tea. For Turkish tea, mostly tea from Turkish growing areas or Ceylon (Sri Lanka) is used. The tea leaves in Turkish tea must always be very coarsely cut, unlike in this country where the tea leaves are cut more finely.

In such classic tea houses in Turkey, you sometimes have the opportunity to enjoy tea directly from the producer. (Image source: pixarbay.com / justinat)

The well-known producers of Turkish tea all promise high quality in the handling and selection of their tea leaves. Also pay attention to the shelf life, store your tea dry, cool and separate from other spices and herbs.

Variety

Even though Turkish tea is mostly a black tea, there are other varieties for which Turkish tea is known. In Turkey, besides the classic cay, green teas are also drunk occasionally. These are often refined with peppermint. This gives the green tea a fresh note and a pleasantly uplifting taste. Alternatively, it is also available with apple, lemon or lemon balm flavour.

Tea variety Property
Lime blossom tea Light lemony taste. Helpful for angina or fever. Is also said to have a relaxing effect.
Thyme tea Effective against coughs and colds. Has an antibacterial effect and soothes inflammation. It is also said to be helpful against muscle, menstrual and stomach pain.
Sage tea A common herb in Turkey. Effective against excessive sweating, which is why women often turn to it during menopause to combat hot flushes.
Pomegranate tea Fruity and full-bodied flavour. Contains many antioxidants and therefore helps protect against environmental toxins. Supposed to help with weight loss and heal inflammation.

The favourite of the herbal and fruit teas, however, is apple tea. Turkish apple tea is usually based on black tea, but has a much sweeter taste. It is said to have positive effects on the immune system and is good for the eyes. It is also said to have a positive effect on undesirable signs of ageing.

Facts worth knowing about Turkish tea

What is the history of Turkish tea?

Tea was introduced to Turkey at the end of the 19th century and shortly afterwards the first attempts at cultivation around the Bursa region failed because the climate was not suitable. Some research and observations were made in Georgia and Russia, which had successfully cultivated tea.

It was found that the region around Rize, north-east of the country and close to the Black Sea coast, was ideal for growing tea. The tea business grew rapidly. Today, more than 50 percent of the 350,000 inhabitants of the Rize region are involved in the tea business.

The mild but snowy winters keep the tea plants free of pests and diseases. The rainy summers ensure that the plant gets the moisture it needs to thrive. About 60 percent of all Turkish tea comes from the Rize region.

Can I drink Turkish tea during pregnancy?

The classic Turkish tea, cay, is a black tea and should therefore only be drunk in moderation because of its caffeine. You should not consume more than two cups of Turkish tea a day to avoid potential side effects for you and the baby.

Image source: 123rf.com / geckophotos

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