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The national drink par excellence, wherever you go in Turkey they will offer you tea or coffee as a sign of friendship and hospitality, anywhere and at any time, before or after any meal.


Tea production in Turkey began in the early years of the republic along the eastern Black Sea region. Many of the tea plantations are located around the city of Rize.



Its history dates back to the Ottoman Empire, it has played an important role in the Turkish lifestyle and culture. The serving and drinking of coffee is a leading ritual in marriage celebrations, political and social gatherings. Although many of the coffee rituals are not as prevalent in today's society, coffee is still an integral part of Turkish culture.

Derived from the Arabica bean, Turkish coffee is ground very finely and sometimes cardamom is added. It is prepared in a special coffee pot called a cezve. It has various levels of sweetness ranging from sade (no sugar), orta (half sweetness), and sekerli (very sugary). Sugar is never added after serving, sugar is always added during preparation, since once the coffee has been served it should not be moved so that the coffee grounds remain at the bottom of the cup.
It was was introduced to Istanbul in the year 1555 by two Syrian merchants. In the mid-17th century, it became part of elaborate ceremonies related to the Ottoman court. There were expert coffee makers who, with the help of more than forty assistants, ceremoniously prepared and served coffee for the sultan.


In the old days, women received lessons on the proper technique for preparing Turkish coffee. Future husbands judged a woman's merits based on the taste of her coffee. Even today, in the most modern homes, during the marriage ceremony, the bride-to-be is the one who prepares and serves the coffee to the groom and his parents.

Raki is the national liquor in Turkey, it is an aniseed liquor, it is produced by distilling fruit juice, usually grapes or raisins, although fig is also popular in the southern region of Turkey. It is similar to various alcoholic beverages that can be found in the Mediterranean and areas of the Balkans. Some claim that the name comes from Iraq, as it was first made in this country and spread to other regions. Others say it got its name from the Razaki grapes used to produce it. Another theory is that arak in Arabic means "sweat" and araki "what makes you sweat." If you drink too much raki you sweat and when the raki is distilled it falls drop by drop like sweat, so the name could have come from Arabic. It is generally taken mixed with water. When the water is added, the mixture takes on a white color, hence the drink is known as, Aslan Sütü, which means 'lion's milk'.

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