Photo de Liz Seabrook

This Closet-Sized Shop Makes the Most Distinctive Tea in Turkey

Meet the man who makes some of the world's strongest tea.

10 August 2017, 2:49pm

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.

All photos by Liz Seabrook

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.