How to procure quality Turkish sage tea or lemon tea in the US?
October 2, 2010 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Tea People! Turkish sage tea, and lemon tea... can the experience be replicated in the United States?

My parents just returned from a wonderful trip in Turkey. Among the things they raved about was the sage tea and the lemon tea. I'd like to find one or both for them, and with good enough quality not to disappoint, and taint their memories of the genuine article. So it's not just finding a source -- it's finding a quality one. A preliminary search turns up and a few similar options. But does anyone have insight to share before I just make random stabs at this? (I've never tasted the stuff myself, though I do like tea!)

The folks are old-school foodies, and I owe them life and happiness. So if I need additional equipment like a two-tier kettle and instruction manual to get the production right, so be it! You'd solve my annual Christmas shopping nightmare while you're at it. Thanks!
posted by clever sheep to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Full disclosure -- I have not been to Turkey, but I have traveled in the Arab Middle East. In my experience, the tea (almost always mint in the Arab countries, though I had sage tea in Wadi Rum in Jordan) that was really great was not of exceptional quality but was just ordinary tea (in fact it was usually Lipton black tea) served with lots and lots of sugar and fresh mint. This may not be true with mint and sage tea. Good luck on your search.
posted by proj at 5:39 PM on October 2, 2010

It looks like you're not near NYC, there's a great Turkish Market that sells the same Sage tea that I had in Turkey in Queens and also the double tea pots and traditional black tea. However sage and lemon tea are usually not made in the tea pot as far as I know, only regular black tea. but it is way more delicious than regular black tea is here. And you might want to get them the little glasses and saucers which they also have at Turkiyem market--you could always call the market and see if they will ship to you.

This website has the tea, both black and sage that I drank in Turkey as well as the teapots and glasses but I have never ordered from them. (Don't get the apple tea unless your parents loved it, it's awful! and apparently just for tourists.)

Here are directions for making traditional black tea in the double pot, (except we never use bottled water!)
posted by beckish at 5:53 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

For everything Turkish, take a look at I've used that site many many times. They have decent size online store and it seems like they have sage tea. But if your parents had "proper" sage tea, it must have been loose sage tea (the one in tulumba is in bags, and it's never the same). Check this list of stores, if any of those stores are close by, you can just drop by and see if they have it in loose form. Also if you end up buying a kettle, send me a message for how to brew the tea in "Turkish" style. I'm just too lazy to write it down now :)
posted by caelumluna at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2010

Were you talking about black tea with lemon, or mint lemon tea? has some bagged tea - mint lemon tea and sage herbal tea. Of course, this is probably not nearly as good as making it from scratch, as beckish and caelumluna indicate, but might be fun to try.

They actually grow tea in Turkey, and the black tea is quite good. A former co-worker of my husband is Turkish, and she gave us some loose black tea her family in Turkey would send her, which was wonderful.
posted by gudrun at 6:40 PM on October 2, 2010

I will have to ask if there was mint involved with the lemon tea!
posted by clever sheep at 6:42 PM on October 2, 2010

I don't know of any lemon tea popular in Turkey - unless it's of the granulated variety, like apple tea.

Linden tea comes to mind though. It has a mild flavor and is usually served with a good squeeze of lemon.
posted by hoca efendi at 6:25 AM on October 3, 2010

If it does turn out to be lemon mint tea, here is a recipe to make your own iced version.

Note the first comment after the recipe is interesting, where "OZ" says: " the drink is called “nane-limon” in turkish. It is actually more commonly made in winter,by boiling dried mint leaves with a squeeze of lemon afterwards, and we drink it hot.(it is really good for cold and tummy aches) But in summer, when its crazy hot, i do it your way:) I love it both ways though…."
posted by gudrun at 2:35 PM on October 3, 2010

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