Everyone knows the history, culture, food and beauty of Turkey’s Rize province. While it is known for its beautiful mountains, cliffs and plateaus, the first thing that comes to mind regarding Rize is its bright red tea.

Turks cannot get enough of seeing the cultivated tea leaves on the city’s hills and in the gardens of local homes in Rize. Here, the culture of collective work is common at the time of tea collection. Children from Rize grow up in the tea fields with their families and become familiar with the local culture by gathering tea leaves with relatives.

Aytul Turan spent her entire childhood among the tea leaves and grew up on the plateaus of Rize. She has a good command of the culture of the province, having been raised with the teachings of folklore and traditional arts of the region. Even though Turan, who also knows basket knitting, studied in the department of child development, her passion for tea was instrumental in her decision to enroll in the Tea Expertise Department at Recep Tayyip Erdogan University in Rize. She later began to work in the field of tea as a female entrepreneur.

“I knew about making tea in the Turkish kitchen. As a person responsible for the production, quality, weight and taste of this classic Turkish staple, I worked as a tea expert at a company,” Turan said.

Last year, Turan made a decision that would change her life forever. Upon hearing about the Tea Master Cup held by the Rize Commodity Exchange to increase the brand value of Turkish tea via social media, she decided to participate in the international competition.

Journey to China

In order to prepare for the competition, she constantly brewed tea for her household and relied on their taste tests for feedback. Since Turan is a tea expert, she already has a good grasp on tea taste. For presentation, she selected objects from traditional art in Rize, becoming Turkey’s tea brewing and presentation champion at the Tea Master Cup organized in Turkey for the 4th time last year.

After winning the competition, many people often asked her to brew some tea and show them how to make a good glass of the famed beverage. “Turkish tea is better served in tulip-shaped glasses,” Turan said. The award-winning tea expert now shares her tea brewing techniques at city fairs and festivals. This year, she will participate in the international tea brewing competition in China. Turan is very excited to represent Turkey in China. “At the competition abroad, we will be able to promote Turkish tea to the wider masses,” Turan said.

How to brew the perfect cup of tea

Choose a high quality, black tea

Prepare your tea in a porcelain or copper teapot

Use the proper water. Avoid using heated and water that has been sitting. The water’s Ph level should not be excessively acidic (above 6.5 and below 8.5)

The most important point is to pour boiled water (95-98 degrees Celsius) to the teapot and add the dry tea on top. If we pour water over the tea, the tea will be boiled

For brewing measurements, add a cup of dried tea to four cups of hot water. If you want a lighter brew, you can use a dessert spoon of dried tea per cup of boiled water. As the number of cups increases, the amount of water and tea can be increased proportionally

After using this recipe, leave the tea to brew for 15-20 minutes. In the first 15 minutes, the caffeine passes into the water. We have to brew it 20 minutes for the leaves in the tea to pass completely into the water. We should keep the water temperature of the lower teapot at 98-99 degrees Celsius and wait for the top pot to boil

If the water in the lower teapot boils and gives the top steam, the tea will be bitter and get stale

Cover the spout of the upper teapot with a stopper while the tea is brewing to prevent losing the tea’s aroma. Following this tip will make your tea more delicious

Source:  Daily Sabah

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