Turkish Apple Tea (Elma Cay)
Turkish Apple Tea is very popular in Istanbul and the rest of Turkey as a caffeine free drink to consumer instead of Cay (Tea) which they also consumer regularly throughout the day.
The Turkish word for Apple Tea is Elma Cay. Apple tea, despite the name, is not actually tea, it is made either with flavourings or dehydrated apple fruit pieces (basically, it is dried to very low moisture levels). Essentially it is a fruit infusion. As mentioned above there are two different types of apple tea you can try.
Apple tea powder
As seen in the picture above this tea is very fine and as of August 2017 the cost for this tea was 180tl (~£26.23) per kg. Since you only need 3g or so per cup (half a dessert spoon), this would be enough for more than 300 servings of Apple Tea! To brew this type you just need to steep (leave in boiling/hot water) for 2-3 minutes and then strain and rove the pieces. Generally sugar is already included in this type of apple tea, so check before you add more!
Dehydrated Turkish Apple Tea chunks
This type of apple tea is made by cutting apples into small chunks and then drying so that all the free moisture is evaporated. This is the most natural form of apple tea you can buy from places like the Grand Bazaar & Spice Bazaar and the one that I often go for. It costs 50-75TL ( (~£10.93) per kg so is cheaper than the powder version but you also need more of it to make a tea and it takes longer to make. For this type of apple tea you would need 5-7g per person (one heaped dessert spoon) and it would need to steep for at least 12-15 minutes in hot water which means you would most likely need a caydanlik or Turkish Tea Pot (please read this post to learn more) to make this type.
Whilst these dehydrated chunks generally do not have added sugar, they do still contain natural sugars found in apples so you may not need any additional.
The good folks at Explore Istanbul took these photos whilst visiting the Spice Bazaar in Eminonu. Below are some more photos from this trips which show Turkish Tea Sets and the entrance.
Another interesting tea we found in the Spice Bazaar was this Blooming Jasmine Flower
The photo of the blooming flower is not the actual tea we found in the Spice Bazaar but a representation of what it will look like as I didn’t think to buy one (oops!). However on our next trip I will and post the result up here!
- Add lemon to the apple infusion, it will add a little sourness and bring out the flavour of the apples.