In today’s edition of tea, let’s have a closer at all of the tea traditions from around the world. Each country, holds many tea secrets and traditions that unique to their own. Let’s uncover some, shall we?
India ‘The Chai Central: Not only is India one of the top consumers of tea, but also produces millions of pounds in harvest each year. Starting from masala tea to white tea, there are plenty of options to go around for everyone. Also, being their national drink, there isn’t many street corners where it isn’t sold. Though tea’s cultivation may have ambiguous origins, it is the most consumed drink in India.
Japan ‘Ceremonial Tea’: Tea’s origins can be dated back to a Buddhist Monk in the 19th Century. Where tea was once part of their religious ceremonies, it is now widely drunk with emphasis on matcha or green tea. Green or Match tea is also central to their tea ceremonies.
Morocco ‘Minty Traditions’: “Tea is drunk at the slightest pretext of every hour of the day,” wrote Madame Guinaudeau in her classic 1950s work on Moroccan cuisine. It starts a day and ends it, precedes a meal and finishes it, and for some dishes gets served with it, too. Morocco’s connection with tea, is a deeply woven tradition of hospitality and friendship. Moroccan mint being the most popular and widely drunk flavor. Being a strong element of their culture, it is safe to say that their day starts and end with tea.
USA ‘Tea Explosions’: On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea. That statement alone, highlights their love for this aromatic beverage. The America tea culture, is a strong part of their culture and history. Here, iced tea is equally popular amongst the masses, whereas different tea flavors are extremely popular. Their interest in tea is further enthused by the health benefits associated with it.
Thailand ‘Tangy tea”: Essentially not part of their culture, Thai tea has become a widely drunk beverage. Made of crushed Ceylon leaves, which is strongly brewed and sweetened with sugar and condensed milk and is then served cold. At markets, it can be seen to be mixed through pouring the tea at heights of about 4 feet back and forth, while visiting Thailand, once can also become part of their trekking adventures, which take you sightseeing through various tea plantations around Thailand.
Britain “English Tea”: Tea being the most quintessential of English drinks, is comparatively a latecomer to British shores. Although the tradition of tea drinking goes back to the third millennium BC in China, it wasn’t until the mid17th century that the beverage first appeared in England. Tea, now being one of the most widely drunk hot beverages, has become part of the English culture.
Russia ‘Zavarka for guests’: If there is something that the Russians love more than vodka, it is probably tea. Tea, being considered the de facto beverage of Russia, it is a favorite of their because of the harsh climate conditions. An important aspect of the Russian tea culture is the ubiquitous Russian tea brewing device known as a samovar, which has become a symbol of hospitality and comfort. 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”.
China ‘Tea Dynasty”: The one that started it all. 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.
Tibet‘Forget the “milk or lemon” debate. How about adding some salty butter to your tea? Po cha, the traditional tea of Tibet, is made by boiling a brick of Pemagul black tea for hours. From there, milk, salt, and yak butter are added, and the mixture is then churned together. It's said this blend with a soup-like consistency is uniquely comforting and fortifying in the high-altitude and cold climates. Though being an acquired taste, it is only favored by plenty people around the country.
Argentina‘While India has chai, this South American nation has yerba mate (pronounced ma-tay), an herb "tea" made from its titular herb. Called "the drink of the gods," it's a staple of Argentinian life. It is prepared in a small pot or dried calabaza gourd from which it's drunk through a special straining straw called a bombilla. This device will be revived with more hot water, and passed around a gathering so all might share its tea and bond. To say "thank you" in this situation is seen as declining the drink, which is a grave insult. Also insulting: stirring the brew with the bombilla, as it questions the abilities of its brewer/your host. Traditionally, yerba mate is served without a sweetener, but younger generations have taken to adding sugar or honey.
That’s all for today folks, in our next edition we will uncover and highlight some more countries, until then happy tea drinking!