An Enigmatic Tea

An Enigmatic Tea |

Look at this tea! And tell me what you see? Anything extraordinary?

Dad always loves to surprise me in different ways. We went to a coffee house last weekend to have tea and simit as breakfast. When I was taking pictures of Turkish tea (you can see it in my last post), he called the waiter and gave another order, which made the waiter perplexed and he had to repeat dad’s order several times to check if he understood right. I was curious, too. His order was: Half glass of plain tea, half glass of plain hot water, sugar and a glass of tea. When we were waiting for the order, he began to tell me a story.

“Once upon a time, there were a boy and a girl living in a village located on the South of Turkey. They loved each other so much and decided to marry. The boy and his parents visited the girl’s family to get their permission for marriage (This is a part of our culture; you have to get the girl’s parents’  permission to marry her). The girl brewed tea and served it in glasses in a chrome tray to their guests. Interestingly, one of the glasses was different. It was as if the tea was cut sharply in the middle. The upper side was all tea while the bottom side was just hot water, unmixed. They couldn’t understand how it was possible. Everyone wondered to whom she would give that unusual tea. As you can guess, she gave it to the boy, but didn’t say anything despite all curious lookings around her. After a while, when the lovers met again, the boy couldn’t wait anymore: ‘You coy, how did you make it? What is your secret?’ And the girl shared the answer just with him. After this event, this barely known tea was called ‘coy looking tea’ (cilveli cay in Turkish) in that region. There are still coffee houses in some villages serving this tea and people go there out of curiousity to see what kind of a tea this coy looking tea is.”

Then the waiter brought the order. Dad gave me a glass of tea and told me to watch him while enjoying my tea. He put half glass of plain tea, half glass of plain hot water and sugar in front of him and started to work as if he was in a scientific laboratory. First he put sugar into hot water and mixed well. Then he transfered plain tea into this with the help of a teaspoon. Surprisingly, the tea didn’t mix with water. It is absolutely a scientific fact, the water&sugar mixture at the bottom is heavier than tea, which results in this interesting image. However, I could never have thought of making it.

An Enigmatic Tea |

No we didn’t drink it. Dad gave it to the staff as a gift as they were watching him as well. So you can make it too when you want to surprise your guests.

An Enigmatic Tea |


  1. says

    Oh, very interesting! I’ll have to try that one day when we have guests to see their reactions. =)

    (I actually bought Turkish tea glasses and saucers during my trip there.)

  2. says

    Sihir gibi birşey olmuş bu Zerrin.
    Görüntüsüne de öyküsüne de bayıldım…
    Babana bu güzel paylaşım için ben de teşekkür ederim.

  3. says

    TS of eatingclub vancouver- They will absolutely get surprised when you serve this tea to your guests.

    Silvia- Thank you!

    Kulsum- Bet your friends will love the story too!

    dokuzuncubulut- Gerçekten de sihir gibi. Zaten cafe çalışanları da çok şaşırdı:)

  4. Mateja says

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I’m so making “coy looking tea” tomorrow for breakfast. Can almost see my 13 year old son’s face and curiosity in his eyes ^_^

  5. says

    What a great story, Zerrin! And what a great trick, I will definitely be trying this! Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    What a lovely post and a lovely story. The new traditions that I learn while visiting your site are always so interesting. I share them with my own family after reading. Thank you so much for sharing this mysterious tea! Have a good Sunday afternoon.

  7. Groty says

    Hope you don’t mind, I’m posting this to . Expect a bunch more traffic! No it’s not my site, just one of my daily favorites. Excellent story there!!

  8. OysterCulture says

    How intriguing and what a great story. I loved this post! You always have the best stories – is it the teacher in you? =)

  9. Latoya Bridges says

    Hope you don’t mind, I’m posting this to . Expect a bunch more traffic! No it’s not my site, just one of my daily favorites. Excellent story there!!

  10. Aysun says

    Denedim oldu,tried and succeeded;)
    Now i know one more trick…

  11. nada says

    Thank you for sharing with us this lovely story,My mother used to make it for us in Iraq long time ago. Inshallah I will try it for my guest.

  12. AnonMouse says

    Your father sounds like a very wonderful man. Thank you for sharing this unique, fun tea with us, and the story along with it!

  13. Phuong0271 says

    Love it, really beautiful story. Thanks for your sharing.

  14. says

    What a lovely way to serve tea! It’s completely captivating. I loved reading the story behind it too, and the story of your dad making it at that restaurant. I can imagine how everyone around must have been interested in seeing it!

    • says

      Thanks Faith! It was really fun to witness dad’s tea show at the restaurant. It’s worth seeing how the staff are puzzled!

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