I am not sure whether in a cup     or in a glass,

but to drink tea is an immeasurable pleasure for me…

Even when I am alone at home, boiling water in the teapot; steam coming out of teapot and humidifying window glasses; steeping smell of tea and colours of the cups that I used to place on tray always take me to pleasant memories and I travel with that cup of tea. During the university years, when there was no bridge across, we used to go from Kadıköy to Karaköy by boat. We can never forget the pleasure of the tea we had drunken in slim waist glasses and the simit we had eaten together with it.  During that half an hour journey, I remember the waiters on the boat walking about, swinging the tea tray in their hands and shouting “steeped tea, steeped tea”…. The taste of the tea and the sandwiches that the man used to sell on the ferries approaching to the car window and presenting them as if he was treating us in his house and not on the boat.

My business life first began in the chemistry laboratory of Mensucat Santral factory.  As no tea was served in the laboratory, we prepared tea with our own system steeping it with the laboratory utensils and maybe its taste was the most unforgettable one.  We used to prepare our tea in the laboratory balloon, create glasses and used the glass rods as spoons. Then the laboratory atmosphere used to get warmed up and we enjoyed our work more.
All these good old memories revive while I was having tea in the tea parlour on the fifth floor of Harvey Nichols in London. I was trying to get rid of my tiredness. The English people care so much about five o’clock tea.  Salmon, chicken and cheese sandwiches sliced in small triangle or rectangular shapes or toasted white breads were served in three different sized plates that were placed on an elegant porcelain tray with silver stands. They have placed a small laced paper on the tip of the porcelain teapot to prevent the dipping of the tea when it is poured into the cups. I take a sip of my tea that they served in snow white porcelain tea cups. 

I started writing in London and now I am in Boston. I prepared tea for myself on the tray. I sat in front of my pc, drank my tea and continued writing on my webpage at the same time.


The first snow of the year falls on the ground. The lighted trees in front of our apartment and the pine tree in the middle of the park get slowly covered by snow. The city gets prepared for a new year.

In order to make a good steeped tea: 

Choose the best quality of water and boil it. The water should be used as soon as it gets boiled so that the oxygen inside doesn’t diminish. We put one spoonful of tealeaves for each cup to be drunken and  should wet the tea leaves on the porcelain tea pot with very little water so that the leaves  open well. The amount of boiled water poured into the porcelain teapot should be on the level covering the hole of the teapot so that smell of tea doesn’t flee from the pot.  The porcelain teapot having the steeped tea placed on the pot with the boiled water inside continues to boil for 15-20 minutes until the colour and smell of the tea come out.  When it reaches the desired darkness, it is poured to the glasses heated with hot water beforehand or to the cups ready for service.                  

Places you would enjoy having tea most:

In İstanbul:

                    ASSK CAFE ,

                    BEBEK CAFE,

                    DİVAN PUB - ERENKÖY or  BEBEK

In London  :  

                    Fortnum and Mason, 

                    The Conservatory @ The Lanesborough, 

                    Spoon at Sanderson,         

           Harvey Nichols 

In Boston  : 

                   Four Seasons; Bristol Lounge, Daily 3-4:30pm 
 L'Espalier; Saturdays 2-3pm
 Park Plaza Hotel; Swan Lounge; Friday - Sunday, 3-4:30pm                   

                    Ritz Carlton Lounge; Arlington Street; Wednesday - Sunday, 2pm & 4pm                    

    Ritz Carlton; Avery Street; Friday - Sunday, 2:30 & 4:30pm

                    Tealuxe Inc; TEA-LUXE-  108 Newbury St. Boston

                    Dado Tea; 955 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA (my favourite)

                    Algiers Cafe; 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (its tiny terrace is super when the weather is nice!)

  Au Bon Pain; Harvard Square, 1360 Massachusetts Ave -Cambridge MA          

       Finale; Harvard Square, 30 Dunster Street Cambridge, MA 02138 

In New York:

                     JENNY'S CAFÉ;   113 St. Marks Place, Manhattan 212-674-4739

                     Mercer Kitchen; SOHO, 99 Prince St New York, NY 10012-3218

  Le Pain Quotidien; 100, Grand Street, (near corner of Mercer Street) NY 10013

                     Four Seasons Hotel; 57 E.57 th St   Midtown

                     Fauchon; 442 Park Ave. Midtown (at 56th St.) Tel: 212- 308- 5919

                     Maison du Chocolat; 1018 Madison Ave. Upper East Side (Betw. 78 & 79th. Sts.)                                        

In Paris :

                   Ladurée; 16 rue Royale, (Metro Tuileries or Madeleine) 75 avenue des Champs Elysées,

                                 (Metro Franklin Roosevelt) or 21 rue Bonaparte, (Metro: St. Germain des Pres)

                    Mariage Frères; Latin Quarter, 13 rue des Grands Augustins. (Metro: Odeon)



Tülin Erkaya

December 2005            Boston- Cambridge





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