Follow the coast road east from Trabzon and about an hour later you come to Rize, the capital of Turkey’s tea growing region.
The tea is grown in a narrow strip of land 150-km long and barely 10-km deep where every spare bit of ground is planted with tea bushes.
Nowhere do you find the sweeping organised terraces featured in brochures for Sri Lanka or Darjeeling.
Here the tea growing is very much a cottage industry that miraculously produces 150,000 tonnes of dry tea each year. Just enough to satisfy the Turkish tea drinking market.
Apologies for the quality of the picture above, it was taken in the rain. The bits that look like grassy slopes are actually fields of tea bushes now lying unproductive until next year.
In Rize you can visit the ‘Botanic Tea Garden’, pictured below, where you can drink excellent tea, gaze upon the bushes growing all around and buy tea to take home.