Home of tea cultivation
Rize is a province in the north-east of Turkey, located close to the Black Sea. The climate in this mountainous region is ideal for growing tea plants. In winter, a covering of snow preserves the fragile tea plants and protects them against fungi and pests. In summer, it usually rains every third day. These climatic conditions are unique and help to create the unique tea flavour.
Rize has around 350,000 inhabitants, one third of which live in the capital city, which is also called Rize. The name means ‘under the mountain’. The city lies at the foot of the Kaçkar mountains that stretch for around 100 kilometres along the coast. The province borders Trabzon to the west, Erzurum and Bayburt to the south and Artvin to the east.
Rize is well known in Turkey and beyond as the ‘region of tea’. More than half the people who live here earn their livelihood from working in the tea sector. The province has become the largest tea-growing area in Turkey – with an annual share of almost 60 per cent of the country’s entire harvest.
The Çaykur tea museum is one of the city’s main attractions. Another is the football team Çaykur Rizespor, which plays in the Süper Lig, the highest league in Turkey. The crowning glory of the town since the 14th century has been Rize Castle – and its natural surroundings. Wild meadows, remote hiking paths and the thermal springs of the Ayder Plateau invoke wonder and invite relaxation.