Apple and Cinnamon Tea

Elma Çayi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Anatolia

By David Dale and Somer Sivrioglu

Published 2015

  • About

A cheap version of apple tea—over-sweetened and made with crystals instead of real fruit—is served to tourists in Istanbul’s grand bazaar by carpet sellers who think it will help seduce visitors into paying twice as much as a carpet is worth. If you’re not a good negotiator, it could be the most expensive tea you ever drink.

The first time I had apple tea was from a Turkish family in Australia—because the carpet sellers never saw any reason to serve it to me in Istanbul. I’ve been trying to perfect it ever since. You can use all the parts of the apple you would normally throw away, and the peppercorns, cloves and star anise add intriguing complexity. Genuine apple tea, with no hidden agenda, is the ideal accompaniment for the three little treats coming up next.

Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons honey, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 100°C (200°F/Gas ½).

Thinly slice the apples across the core, place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour until they are dried and browned.

Put the baked apple, lemon, cinnamon, black peppercorns, star anise and cloves in a saucepan with 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) of water over low heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, and then strain the tea into a teapot, gently pressing the apples. Sweeten with honey, then pour into tea glasses and serve.