Sunday, July 24, 2005

Istanbul Diary: Apple Tea

Shopping in Istanbul's bazaars is incomplete without a cup of apple tea that is served in seductive tea cups. The tea is served piping hot and you can burn your tongue if you are not careful. I loved drinking a cup of tea while I mentally calculated my starting price for the various exotic wares that I was covetting. It is easy to assume that you must buy from a shop that has taken the trouble to serve you tea, but remember that it's part of the shopping experience and you need not feel indebted at all.

My most memorable cup of apple tea in Istanbul was actually not at a shop but at an authentic cafe near the Blue Mosque. My Russian girlfriend and I were exhausted after a long day of continuous haggling. An outdoor Turkish cafe with comfortable couches and hookahs was just what we needed. We ordered apple tea and some pistachio ice cream. At a couch from where we had a stunning view of the mosque at sunset, we took off our shoes, sunk our feet in the cushions and set out to enjoy the ice cream and the tea one sip and spoon at a time. We wanted to see just how long how long we could stretch out the experience. We thoroughly went over the day's events and about thirty minutes later, we we scraping off pistachios and sipping the last drops of the tea. Wish I could transport myself back to this cafe in Istanbul so I can unwind in such a delicious fashion every time I'm exhausted!


Blogger The Yankee said...

Istanbul sounds terribly adventurous and interesting by I have a fear of going there because it seems so "unknown". How does one fit in?

8:13 PM  
Blogger gs said...

you will be surprised.i too have been having tea without milk and sugar and with sliced lemon accompanied by pistacchio in my office every afternoon.though it is not apple tea,at least it looks like one.
did you see any of the famous turkish baths?

6:42 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

richard, you've got to get over your fear of the unknown and get to istanbul. it's such a unique city where you really get a glimpse of what life must have been like thousands of years ago. and the people are very warm and friendly. go with friends so you're more comfortable!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Lulu said...

i had to choose between a hammam (turkish bath) tour and a palace tour on one particular day. i've heard that the massages you get there aren't half as wonderful as those you get at the spas so i skipped out :) but my friends told me that it was quite an experience to be bathing naked together (all women of course).

8:20 AM  
Blogger gs said...

be in rome like the shouldn't have missed the turkish bath.and i suppose what you said about the group bath is inevitable.

10:09 AM  

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