Drinking tea is a tradition that's said to date back to around 2700 BC. But it was actually accidentally invented when Chinese emperor Shennong found that the taste of his hot water was greatly improved when a few tea leaves fell in it and left their flavours in his cup of hot water. Since then, tea drinking has spread around the world, its recipes and preparations evolving along the way.
Let us tell you some other countries where tea has become a part of their culture.
1. China -
China is not just the inventor of tea but it has associated its culture around tea. China today has inculcated tea in its cuisine as well as medicine. Not to mention, in China, tea is consumed multiple times in the day, both in formal as well as informal occasions. Such is the importance of tea in China. The traditional Chinese tea ceremony, known as Gongfu, is an incredibly detailed process. Guests are invited to smell the leaves before brewing. This is just one of the very first unseen and unheard of steps along with warming the cups with a wash of the tea's first brew. The second is drinking. The tea is ideally poured by arranging the cups in a circle, pouring in one continuous motion, round and round until each cup is full. Guests are expected to cradle the cup—and sip slowly to savor the flavor, and then cradle the empty cup again to relish the aroma after the tea is gone.
2. India -
India is both a huge producer and consumer of tea. In India tea is not just a beverage. It is consumed in both happy and sad times. Although Indians were not the producers of tea, they have so dearly accepted it, and made it a part of our daily lives, that it seems that they have been having tea since forever.
Indians today consume tea of all kinds and all flavours. Green tea with flavours like Lemon, Mint and Jasmine are gaining popularity. Black tea or more popularly called the Kadak Chai in India is the most consumed kind of tea.
But for all its variants, the country is best known for its chai blends that mix black tea leaves with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and pepper. Though regional recipes vary, this spicy tea is such a quintessential element of day-to-day life that is sipped on the go, offered to houseguests, and found for sale on nearly every street. But Samaara tea, one of the best brands of tea in India, sells instant tea premixes that need no extra efforts to make but will provide all the authentic taste of an authentic Masala Chai. It comes in 3 variants - Masala, Ginger, Cardamom.
3. Morocco -
A mix of mint, green tea leaves, and a generous amount of sugar goes into the Touareg tea or the Maghrebi mint tea. This tea is the customary blend in Morocco. As unique as its name and flavours are, this tea is served in a more unique way. It is poured from up high into slim, delicate glasses, and is served three times to the guests. And as per the observers, each time the flavor varies slightly.
Moroccons love their tea so much that they have even made a proverb, which goes like - "The first glass is as gentle as life, the second is as strong as love, the third is as bitter as death”. Therefore, refusing any one of the three servings is considered the height of rudeness.
4. Tibet -
Are you still stuck on the “milk or lemon” debate? Tibetans have gone a step forward and have found a solution. They have ditched both milk and lemon. They like adding some salty butter to their tea. ‘Po cha’ is the traditional tea of Tibet. It is made by boiling a brick of Pemagul black tea for hours. In it, milk, salt, and yak butter are later added. This mixture is then churned together.
It is said that this blend with a soup-like consistency is uniquely comforting at high-altitudes and cold climates.
5. Argentina -
While India has chai, this South American nation has ‘yerba mate’. It is a herbal tea. Called "the drink of the gods," it is a staple for the people of Argentina. It is prepared in a small pot from which it is drunk through a special straining straw known as bombilla. The pot is filled with more hot water, and is passed around a gathering and everybody shares the tea. Traditionally, yerba mate is served without a sweetener, but the new generations add sugar or honey.
6. Russia -
The tea traditions of Russia were a result of the shortage of food and drinks. The food and drinks needed to be stretched to serve as many as possible, and that was how ‘zavarka’ got its invention. It is a loose-leaf tea concentrate which is brewed in a small metal container which is known as ‘samovar’. In this vessel, a very strong tea, both in taste and in colour (black) is brewed and then served in large mugs. But the tea was so strong that nobody could drink the entire mug of tea . The guests take an inch or less of this powerful concoction and then add boiling water to it according to their preference.
Russians typically drink it black, but hosts are offered milk and sugar, along with an accompanying snack. Serving zavarka without cookies, crackers or some other snack is considered highly rude.
7. Taiwan -
Taiwanese bubble tea is a modern innovation on Chinese traditional tea. It is a high calorie treat with its base consisting of an iced tea (black, green, jasmine or oolong typically), with powdered milk and sugary syrup. But the bubbles to which it owes its name comes from the small balls of tapioca, which is a starchy white grain.
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8. Japan -
In Japan, tea is more than just a hot drink. It is a very important ritual that has a lot of meaning within the culture. The tea ceremony represents purity, tranquillity, respect and harmony and a lot of preparation goes into this important event.
This island nation has tea ceremonies with names like Chanoyu, Sado and Ocha. Can be removed.
These ceremonies include everything from the preparation of the home to how guests are invited into it, the order in which utensils are brought into the room, the cleaning and warming of these tools, the actual brewing, and the cleanup. Details vary depending on the time of day and season, but the powdered green tea Matcha is the preferred and popular blend.
Since matcha has a bitter flavour, this tea is served with sweets.
9. Iran -
After tea caught on in India and China, the Silk Road played a major role in spreading it across the Middle East by the 15th century, sparking the rise of tea houses known as ‘Chaikhanas’.
However, it wasn't until the 20th century that Iranians began growing their own black tea, making it a nationally embraced beverage, which now welcomes guests and is a crucial element in social life.
A silver tray customarily carried in the drink, which is accompanied by a bright yellow rock candy called ‘Nabat’, is the wway Iranians roll. So constant is tea's presence in Iranians' lives that it is observed that a kettle is always kept on the stove burner all day. The tea which is served is very strong. Rather than mixing in sugar to counteract the bitterness, you're encouraged to place a sugar cube between your front teeth and suck the strong brew through it.
We told you how different countries drink their tea and on what occasions. But you should not wait for any occasion to have a cup of your favourite kind of tea.Head on to Samaara tea website to get yourself all the authentic teas in various flavours and enjoy the authentic taste at any time of the day.