Kurds drink a lot of tea. Tea at work in the morning, in the afternoon, after meals, while visiting, at home. I met a slight, elderly man who is famous for drinking nothing but cha. No water, no juice. Just tea. He is, incidentally, the strongest grandfather I've ever seen, roughhousing with 8 grandkids who were no match for him.
Cha is always black ('cha' is tea in Kurdish, pronounced like 'chai'), concentrated and brewed all day. It is diluted with hot water directly before being served with copious amounts of sugar in little glass cups. When I say “copious,” I mean three -spoonfuls-in-a-cup-the-size-of-three-shot-glasses copious. Unlike in the UK, it is never taken with milk or cream.
Cha is hot and smooth, with a deeper flavor than a tea-bag can deliver. At home, I often put a bit honey in my tea, but in Kurdistan I take it without sugar to avoid the deluge of sweetness. I'm used to drinking from mugs, refilling until I've consumed the entire contents of the tea pot. But here I've come to enjoy the moderate portions, to meditate on the temperature and layers of texture as I sip. A flavor and custom I shall miss.