This is a short summary of how economy changed Turkish hot drink habit. Before you read, prepare your cup of tea and enjoy it ;)
Currently, numbers show that Turkish are not very big fan of coffee. Turkish drink tea in the breakfast, during day and in the evening! I believe most of Turkish drinks much tea than water :)
Surprisingly Turkish coffee history is much older than tea, Turkish regularly drink coffee since 16th century and tea became popular in the middle of 20th century. But Turkey coffee consumption is 0.342 cup per capita but on the other hand Turkey is the biggest tea consumer in the world! 7.54 kg tea per capita! Wow! If we assume 1 cup of coffee is prepared with 12 gr of filter coffee, Turkish consumes 1.5 kg of coffee per capita. Reason is so simple, we are not rich enough to consume coffee! Let's have a look at the history:
- In 1947 the first tea factory was established in Rize and Turkey started to produce tea. Since that Turkish coffee was so popular but it became more expensive started from the end of 19th century and tea became the most popular hot drink of Turkish.
- Turkey is the 5th biggest tea producer. In 1990 Turkey was 7th in the world and we almost doubled production in years. So tea is cheap. 1 kg Turkish tea is almost 6.5$. Even Turkey is the one of the biggest producer, Turkey isn't in the biggest tea exporter list.
- What about coffee? Yes Turkey isn't a coffee producer that make coffee expensive. 250 gr Starbucks Kenya coffee bean is almost 8 USD, 1 kg is 32 USD, 5 times expensive than tea.
- Turkey isn't a rich country. Turkish coffee was the first selection of Turkish before tea but after the end of 19th century coffee became too expensive and people started to prefer tea. Starbucks sells Tall Americano for 2.5 USD in Turkey, 1 Turkish coffee is almost 2 USD, 1 cup of small tea is 0.5 USD, large tea is 1 USD.
- 23% of Turkish lives in country side where coffee is expensive and hard to find. Almost all of these people drink tea in their home, farm and kahvehane.
- In years tea became more and more popular. Tea becomes the first choice of Turkish breakfast, cigarette, cake and even tea is served after Turkish coffee :)
- As far as I remember Nescafe became the first popular coffee in Turkey after Turkish coffee. Price was not cheap but affordable. People tried Nescafe.
- But the game changer was Nescafe 3 in 1, the price was ok for most of the people so it became super popular.
- After Starbucks (Since 2003) entered Turkish market, Turkish people started to drink much coffee, especially rich people. And filtered coffee started to enter the Turkish houses. People started to buy coffee machine/french press and prepare their own coffee.
Overall, it isn't all about the taste, it's all about the money. I am not an oracle but if the Turkish economy goes like this and USDTRY currency is increased like this, Turkish coffee consumption will decrease dramatically.
Looking for a nice place in Istanbul for Turkish coffee, give Fazıl Bey'in Türk Kahvesi a chance, it is in Kadıköy çarşı.
Bonus: If you are looking for the perfect whiskey glass, traditional Turkish tea glass is what you are looking for :)