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!