The Importance of Turkish BLACK TEA with Respect to Human Health
Tea is a Healthy Drink.
Tea, the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, is known as a relaxing, pleasing drink. It has also gained importance as a nutritional substance because it contains flavonoids, caffeine, many elements and major vitamins. Tea is high in flavonoids. Black tea contains two types of flavonoid called “theaflavins” and “thearubigens”.
These flavonoids appear to be beneficial to health. Tea has greater antioxidant power than many plants and flavonoids may act as antioxidants. It is generally agreed that, for most people, moderate caffeine consumption is harmless. Many people find that caffeine boosts mental clarity and alertness in a pleasing way.
People also obtain wonderful results if they add tea to their bath. First of all, the skin will become nicely tanned. This is then followed by tea’s rejuvenating effects. Turkish tea is healthier because: There are no agricultural pesticides in Turkish tea since tea growers do not use pesticides, Turkish tea is natural and healthy.
There are no additives or chemicals No additives or chemicals are used in either tea gardens or in the production process. Turkish tea does not contain much caffeine
In Turkey, the possibility of tea cultivation was determined in 1917 around Rize province and cultivation was first started by law in 1924 and the Tea Research Institute was established. Afterwards, research studies began to be conducted and tea cultivation began on a commercial basis. In 1947, the first plant for processing green tea leaves was opened in Rize.
From then on, tea production has been carried out in a microclimate along the Eastern Coast of the Black Sea Region and thus, Turkey takes its place on the upper limit of tea ecologies. Along this region Rize, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon and Artvin are the provinces in which tea is produced. In order to supply better service, parallel to the growth in this sector, an economic enterprise, ÇAY-KUR (General Directorate of Tea Enterprises) was established in 1971 and was fully authorized as a state monopoly in the tea business.
In 1984, with the abolishment of the monopoly in the tea sector, private enterprises were also given the rights of procurement, processing and marketing. Although the tea business in Turkey is a relatively new activity compared with the other producer countries, tea cultivation and the industry have shown very important improvement in a short time.
While the production of dried tea was below 25,000 tons in the 1950’s, this figure reached significant quantities in recent years. Today, Turkey holds a significant place among the world’s largest producer countries with a share of 3%. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, Turkey ranks fifth in the world production of tea after China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka.
Table 1: Tea Production in Turkey (Tons)
In the production process, the processing methods of Orthodoks, CTC and Rotervane are used in Turkey. Tea gardens in Turkey were established from seeds. Cultural precautions such as maintenance, pruning, fertilization and harvesting are carried out in conformity with scientific techniques in order to obtain a fresh tea product conforming to the production of top quality dried tea. Today, tea is one of the national drinks of the Turkish people along with ayran, sahlep, boza and Turkish coffee.
Turkish people drink a great deal of tea all day long especially at breakfast and in the evening. Turkish people are famous for their hospitality and it is very common to serve tea to guests in Turkey. More than 215,000 tons of black tea is consumed in Turkey every year.
As a result of establishing fertile, quality plantations; the application of modern, appropriate cultivation methods on the plantations by growers and the improvements achieved in the manufacturing industry, Turkish BLACK TEA is produced in compliance with international standards.
TS 4600 Turkish BLACK TEA Standard, which is almost in conformity with the ISO 3720, is applied in the production and marketing of black tea in Turkey. For black tea exports, ISO 3720 is applied.
At the beginning the primary goal of tea cultivation in Turkey, was only to meet the domestic demand. However, until 1963 tea production was insufficient for the domestic market and the gap between production and demand was met by imports. Afterwards, tea production reached a level exceeding domestic demand and Turkish BLACK TEA exports have reached significant levels thanks to the policies implemented.
Tea is exported from Turkey in consumer packages. In Turkey, apart from traditional whole leaf tea, tea bags are also produced, consumed and exported. In recent years, tea bags have become a very common way of consumption. The main destinations of Turkish tea are the European Union countries, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Israel and Iraq.
Among the EU countries, Belgium, Germany, France and Holland are the most important markets.
Table 2: Turkish Tea Exports
Turkish BLACK TEA
Let’s have a break and drink a traditional Turkish tea To make Turkish black tea like the Turks, you will need a kettle and a teapot. First, fill the kettle with water and place it on the stove. Then, put the teapot on top of the kettle. Put black tea into the teapot (the measure of black tea is a dessert spoon for each person). Light the stove. While the water is boiling in the kettle, the teapot will also be warmed.
Please notice that the teapot contains only black tea and it does not contain water. After the water has boiled, you should put this water in the teapot where you have the black tea (The measure of the water depends on the number of persons who will drink the tea.). Now you must wait 15 minutes more or less; this is necessary so that the tea can be brewed.
You will see that after 15 minutes the tea stays in the bottom of the kettle; this means the tea can be served. In Turkey black tea is not generally served in mugs but in special glass cups as a Turkish tradition. There are two types of tea to be served: the strong tea “Koyu çay” and the light tea “açık çay”.
When serving the strong Turkish BLACK TEA you must fill two thirds of the glass with tea from the teapot and add boiling water to fill the rest of the glass. As the tea is strong, the color of this tea will be dark ruby. When serving the light Turkish BLACK TEA, you must fill one third of the glass with tea from the teapot and add boiling water to fill the rest of the glass.
As the tea is light, the color will be light ruby. Add sugar, as you like. In Turkey when drinking Turkish BLACK TEA we say: “Afiyet Olsun” that means “Good Appetite” or “Enjoy”!
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
- Eastern Black Sea Exporters’ Association
- General Directorate Of Tea Enterprises
- Rize Commodity Exchange
- Rize Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- International Standards for Tea
- ISO 3103