Tea Traditions Around the World
It will warm us if we are cool, it will cool us if we are too heated and it will cheer us if we are depressed (in addition, it contains multiple benefits). Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world after water and apparently it has the solution to all evils. From the time of the ancient Chinese Dynasty to our present, tea has showed us its power and the fact that it has a lot to do with relaxing and sacred rituals. This article is for those who love travelling and still think a cup of tea is more than a drink…
1. India: The land of Chai tea
India produces and consumes more tea than any other country in the world. Chai is the national drink in India and it is served literally on every street corner– Especially in crowded train stations, where you can see people selling it at all times of the day and night. If you ever get invited to an Indian house (remember that here guests can drop by anytime without warning) prepare yourself to taste a sweet and spiced milk-tea.
If you have the chance to visit amazing India, visit the Tea Museum in Munnar. Here you will get to know the traditional tea production.
2. Morocco: Mint tea, the heart of the culture
It is almost impossible to spend 24 hours in a Moroccan city and to not be served hot tea. Touareg tea, or Moroccan mint tea is literally the heart of their culture. Strongly linked to the act of hospitality, the mint tea is served to guests three times with each glass meaning a different thing- life, love and death. Of course, all of them have to be drunk. Do you fancy a Moroccan tea? You only need a large quantity of hard sugar, 5 teaspoons for every spoon of fresh tea and of course, mint, the essential ingredient.
3. USA: The tea explosion
Whether cold or warm, in the morning or at night, tea is one of the most popular non- alcoholic drinks in the States. Here it is possible to find green, red and even the oolong tea, the traditional Chinese tea. In this sense, it doesn´t matter the type of tea as they are all included in North American people’s health-obsessed diet. Today we can say that coffee is still preferred for the morning ritual, ice tea is often consumed with lunch and all types of tea are drunk in the evenings.
4. Britain: Classic afternoon tea
We all know that Britain is the place on the Earth where people can drink a cup of tea even before they go to bed. Yes, British people can’t live without this ancient drink which they brought from India from the time when Britain was an empire. Despite the coffee fuelled culture, tea is still the first hot drink chosen by the British population.
If you have the chance to visit London, don’t hesitate to spend an afternoon at the Orangerie, a paradise for classic tea lovers in the heart of chic West London.
5. China: The dynasty of tea
For Chinese people, tea is synonym of life. They were the first to discover the tea leaf and have been drinking tea ever since. Because of the geographic climate, many locations across the country cultivate different types of tea. The art of making tea is called “Cha dao”, which was soon accepted as one of the most important cultures that Japan learned from China.
The only national museum in China can be found in Hangzhou, where there is a detailed description of the historic development of tea culture in China.
6. Thailand: A very trendy tea
Who hasn’t tried a Thai tea? This is also one of the most popular teas in the world. It is made from strongly-brewed red tea that usually contains anise, red and yellow food colouring and sometimes other spices too. Thai tea is especially consumed in Southeast Asia and in lots of American and European restaurants that serve Vietnamese and Thai food.
Thai tea found its roots in the midst of war, but a civil, rather than a colonial war like in most countries.
7. Russia: Zavarka for guests
There are two things that Russians love most: vodka and tea. The history of this country tells us that it was along the Bolsheviks’ victory at the Civil War that soldiers and industrial workers started to get free tea, which until that point was considered an upper class product. Today most Russians enjoy what they call Zavarka, a very strong tea prepared in a separate tea pot that allows hosts to serve the guests in several rounds.
If you ever travel to Russia, don’t hesitate to have your tea with a piece of cake, as it is considered quite rude to serve the tea “naked”.
What is something you learned from reading this article?
How many of the different types of teas have you tried from the list above?
How often during any given week do you drink tea?
What are some types of tea that you enjoy drinking? Can you describe its origins and the brewing techniques it requires?
How do people like their tea in your region? Hot or iced? Sweetened or unsweetened? With a tea bag or filled with tea leaves? Caffeinated or decaffeinated?