This Closet-Sized Shop Makes the Most Distinctive Tea in Turkey
Meet the man who makes some of the world's strongest tea.
Photo de Liz Seabrook
Down a small side street of the ancient and emblematic Grand Bazaar, beside a beautiful medieval courtyard, is a small closet space where an old man makes tea for hundreds of people.
In the Grand Bazaar tea flows in waves. It's served strong and black, in hourglass-shaped glasses, beside sugar cubes and a small spoon.
The walls of this console are lined with over a dozen telephones and each of them is wired directly to a different shop across the market.
The calls come too often to make tea in the traditional way—using the double-tiered kettle, the çaydanlık. Instead the operator runs boiling water from a tap through a strainer filled with tea leaves and into a series of glasses deftly carried in his off hand.
The order is ready in a matter of minutes and loaded onto a tray by the console's attendant. The man steadies the tray before darting off down the bazaar's maze of side streets. There is a short silence, a brief break, and then another call comes in.
This article is an excerpt from Fare, a new magazine exploring city culture through food, history, and community. Fare introduces its readers to a single city and lets its locals do the talking: taking you down backstreets and through forgotten histories, exploring neighbourhoods and local institutions, and doing more than just taste the food on offer.