And pronounced ‘choy’.
This means tea to Uzbeks. Like in Turkey and in fact all of Central Asia, it’s the universal drink and offered after lunch and dinner and I’m sure whenever you feel like it. The coffee drinkers in our group are missing their lattes and cappucinos meanwhile …
|green tea time in Fayzulla Khojaev House, Bukhara|
Both black and green tea are drunk here. According to our local guide Galip green tea is favoured in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva because it beats the heat while in Tashkent and Fergana, they prefer black. It is not usually sweetened, unlike Turkish çay, and if it is, it would be at breakfast time.
Yesterday we were taken to a teahouse or chaihana right in the heart of the bazaar area of Bukhara to sample herbal teas. Actually it was a fabulous suzani shop as you can see from the photos!
|isn’t he great?|
We sampled three different herbal teas and I think we liked the first one best which contained seven ingredients:
Cloves, mint, saffron, cardomom, cinnamon, anise, and basil
|relaxing and sleep-inducing|
The tea leaves had a beautiful light fragrance and made a delicious tea. I don’t know the proportions but one could experiment. Of course it was for sale: 100g which would make 60-65 small pots, cost 15,000 som. This sounds like a phenomenal amount but in fact is only $7.50. I say of course because everything here is for sale!
The tea here is not brewed like in Turkey. It’s made by putting spoonfuls of tea leaves in a pot, covered with boiling water and left to infuse for a few minutes, just like making a pot of good old English!
|beautifully presented snacks served with the tea|
|we enjoyed it thoroughly!|
Notice the cups: this pattern is seen everywhere for some reason: the dark blue with the white.
|look at those great wall hangings behind me|
As you can see, this tea place was in reality a fabulous suzani shop and yes, we did all either buy something there and then, or came back the next day when we had ‘free time’! More about that later.
Shopping here is absolutely fantastic!!!