Sage Tea

Who loves drinking sage tea? It is one of my favorite drink.
Every time I am in Turkey, the first thing I do, go to a tea house order a cup of fresh sage tea myself.
I love the aroma. I even love to hear when çaycı yelling loudly “çaylar ada olsun”.
I like living in US, but there are things that I love so Turkish that it is embedded into my soul, I miss these. Such as watching sunset in Izmir bay, sitting in a cafe, drinking my adaçayı. There is no çaycı concept in US. Yes, there are many cafes all around the country but not like tea houses in Izmir. There is a difference between çay evi/tea house vs cafe in Izmir as well as in whole Turkey. I prefer çay ocağı style (tea house style places). It is just different life “atmosphere”. I wonder sometimes am I the only one miss seeing a çaycı around? Nothing like ordering a glass of sage to a çaycı. Most likely he would ask:
“Ablam, çay mı olsun, ada mı?”
Surely I can translate this as /direct translation/ “Older sister, do you want black tea or sage tea?” It will never translate the emphasis correctly. So the next time if you are in Turkey, go ahead order a cup of sage tea yourself. Enjoy the aroma, feel good about a total stranger ( çaycı / a person who works in a tea house brings tea to you, slightly different than a waiter) calls you “abla” out of respect. If you are man he would say “ağbi” which means older brother. The sincerity and closeness it is not something you could describe with words, you should experience it..

Sage Tea
Sage Tea

Not only you drink sage tea in tea houses and cafes, you can also make it at home. When I was a little girl every time I had sore throat, my mom used to make it for me. After drinking 2-3 cups, next day I was fine. In Turkish Sage tea called Ada çayı.

How do you make sage tea at home?
If you have Sage around your garden or if you bought from a grocery store ( or natural-foods stores ) sage bunch, pick 4-5 leaves, boiled a cup of water, put the tea leaves into hot water. Leave the sage leaves in the water about 2 or 3 minutes, let it steep. Then add lemon juice or slice of lemon wedge, for sweet taste add 1 tea spoon honey or 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
You can buy sage tea in a bag too. If your local grocery store does not have any sage tea, there are online store you get purchase it such as or even You can also easily grow in a pot at home or in your garden.
In Portland Oregon you can find sage tea from these stores:
New Seasons Market
Whole Foods Market
Zupan’s Markets
Barbur World Foods

Sage Types

There are 3 types of sage you can grow.
Common sage – This type of sage can be used to enhance the flavors of stuffing and meat dishes as well as drinking as tea.
Purple sage – The leaves are purple color , does not have strong smell but has mild flavor.
Tricolor sage – This sage has leaves of varying colors of white, purple or pink, can be used for culinary herb.
You can buy sage in a pot from nurseries. Sage loves the sunshine. If your garden or house gets the morning sun, then keep the sage pot in that area. Sage plants like clay soil and use potting soil for healthy sage growing.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage is antiseptic and astringent, helping to soothe swollen tissues such as a sore throat. Sage tea helps in treating fevers and colds, sore throat and headaches as well as indigestion and gastro-intestinal upsets.

Medicinal Properties: Sudorific, astringent, expectorant, tonic, aromatic, antispasmodic, nervine, vermifuge, emmenagogue, diuretic, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, antiseptic.

Sage can be used to aid in the treatment of many health conditions, including:

Soothing to pain, colds, diabetes, high cholesterol, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), inflammation, menopausal symptoms and sore throat.


Turkish Words:
çay evi: Tea house that serve mostly rea and Turkish coffee, tea is making in old style tea making in large semavar or tea kettles. No tea bag served!
çayhane: Tea places usually around schools or bazaar you will find small tea houses.
çaycı: A person who works in tea house, makes serves tea. It is different than waiter. Mostly çaycı serve tea.

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