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Mehmet Erdoğan: There are 170 tea factories in Türkiye

170 tea factories in Türkiye…

In Türkiye, today around 1.5 million tonnes of green tea leaves are harvested annually and processed in 216 different tea processing factories.

Mehmet Erdoğan

A total of 170 of those factories belong to the private sector, while the remaining 46 are public institutions, according to Mehmet Erdoğan, who chairs the Commodity Exchange in Türkiye’s Black Sea tea hub of Rize.

The total production of tea is around 280,000 tonnes per year, as Türkiye is the fifth-largest tea-producing country in the world, he noted.

As the vast majority of the total production meets domestic market demand, less than 2 percent of it is exported, Erdoğan said.

“The total amount of tea imported annually is almost 35,000 metric tonnes, mostly from Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Indonesia.”

“The Turkish tea market is the third-largest worldwide, after China and India,” he added.

A total of 830,000 hectares of land – sometimes rising up to 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) above sea level – in Türkiye’s Black Sea Region is used for cultivating tea.

Turkish tea

Türkiye also ranks seventh in the world in terms of the area of its tea cultivation fields.

“Compared to other tea-growing regions in the world, the most important feature of the region is that the climate of the Eastern Black Sea Region doesn’t allow the development of natural tea pests,” he explained.

“In the region, more than 205,000 producers are engaged in tea agriculture and it is government policy to protect these producers with high import taxes of 145 percent,” Erdoğan said.

While around 65 percent of tea consumed in the country is also made in Türkiye, he said that bulk tea is sold in small quantities, as they usually sell tea by packaging under individual brands.

“Tea is also widely consumed in our country in public places such as coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, making up 45 percent of total sales. Most cafes and restaurants serve a large variety of tea, including imported ones from all around the world,” he added.

Erdoğan’s Turkish-style black tea brewing and presentation…

A two-part teapot is traditionally used for Turkish-style brewing, with a smaller teapot, made of steel or porcelain, resting on top of a larger one.

While water is boiled at the bottom, the smaller pot above is heated by the steam from the boiling water in the bottom section. After the water is boiled, it is poured into the smaller pot where the tea is brewed and after the boiling water settles, the black tea is added.

The tea is steeped for 12-15 minutes. At the end of the brewing process, the tea is presented in small hourglass-shaped tulip-formed tea glasses as light or as strong as desired.

Traditionally it is served blood-red and without sugar.

Sugar is added upon request, but it is preferable to drink it without sugar to more fully enjoy the tea’s flavour.

The ideal duration of brewing is 15 minutes. Tea is best consumed within an hour…

About İsmail Uğural

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