Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Did you know, tea is the second most-consumed drink with water being the first? Drinking tea is one of the ancient traditions that are still prevalent. It is the one-stop solution for all occasions, woes, fatigues, and the weather. For those who love this drink and cannot live without it, tea has never disappointed them. Starting from ancient China to the position it is at now; tea has come a long way. This drink is made and served differently in various parts of the world, and you will have a unique experience with each.
Tea has become the way of life and hospitality for several cultures across the globe. Most countries are now traditionally connected to this drink. So, calling all the ‘teaholics’ across the world to join us, let us take a tour of the various tea traditions prevalent in different countries globally and know them better.
Which Are The Top 10 Tea Traditions Around The World?
Tea has a long history. First found in parts of China, then in Tibet, then traveled to India and then to the rest of the world through the silk route, tea has seen it all. We have rounded up the best tea traditions prevalent worldwide below. Without any further ado, let us take a quick look at them.
1. The Cha-Dao Of China
China is where tea is believed to have originated. The Chinese believe that making tea is an art known as Cha-Dao, which imbibes balance and harmony. They have a different ritual for it, known as the Gongfu ceremony. Several regions cultivate various types of tea in the country. Some of the famous ones are Oolong, Jasmine, and Pu-erh.
2. The Po Cha Of Tibet
Though butter and tea may not seem to be a prominent option for you, Tibet has an ancient tradition of drinking butter tea. They mostly use the butter made from Yak milk. The extreme cold climates in the region led to this high-fat containing and energy-boosting drink. This beverage not only keeps them warm but also is known to cleanse the body.
3. The Chai Of India
Tea in India is the first thing that is served to its guest after water. You will find tea stalls in every nook and corner of the country. India is listed as the largest consumer of tea, along with also being its largest producer in the world. The favourite variety is the black tea, prepared with milk, sugar, and some added spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
4. The Matcha Ceremony Of Japan
For Japan, tea is an integral part of their food and culture. They practice a tea ceremony known as Chanoyu, which is heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism. It is the ceremonial preparation and presentation of powdered green tea known as ‘matcha.’ When you only mention ‘tea’ in the country, you will be offered green tea.
5. The Touareg Of Morocco
The Moroccan mint variety is popularly known as the Touareg tea. It is a significant part of North African Culture. This drink is a mixture of green tea and mint leaves and is usually served in small glasses. Touareg is offered three times to the guests. Each glass has a different meaning- life, love, and death, and the guests are supposed to drink all three as a sign of respect.
6. The Afternoon Tea Of England
The British got the tea tradition from India and now it had become an integral part of their culture. They prefer afternoon tea, which has been long prevalent since the 1840s. Some even prefer this drink before going to bed. The British mostly mean milk tea when it comes to the term ‘tea.’
7. The Zavarka Of Russia
It is again the silk route which introduced tea in Russia. Tea or Zavarka is known to be associated with hospitality in this country. They, too, offer this drink to its guests. The Russians like to flavour their tea with lemon, honey or sugar, or some herbs. It is usually served in small amounts, which is then diluted with water from tall urns, known as a samovar.
8. The Cha-yen Of Thailand
When in Thailand, the most famous variety of tea you will find is the Thai iced tea, which is popularly known as cha-yen. It is a concoction of Ceylon tea, strongly brewed, mixed with condensed milk, sugar, and then served with ice. The Thai people like to add spices, such as cinnamon, star anise, orange blossom, ground tamarind, and a few more.
9. The Yerba Mate of Argentina
It is a herbal tea variety that is prepared with the Argentinian local plant-yerba mate. It is caffeine-rich and traditionally meant to be sipped through a bombilla, which is a metallic straw. However, if you stir the tea with that straw, it is considered an insult to the tea maker. The Argentinian folks believe it is rich in antioxidants and has properties that can lower cholesterol.
10.The Iranian tea
An Iranian tea is known for its intense flavor with a kick. Drinking this drink has a unique way. You do not add sugar to it, instead, take a cube of sugar in between your front teeth and drink the tea, which should pass through it. The Iranian tea is also served with nabat, which is yellow rock candy, and you are supposed to dissolve it in the beverage and drink it.
Whichever nook of the world you travel to, you are most likely to find one or the other tea varieties. The various types have a different and intriguing background and story to tell. Every region that consumes this drink has several traditions attached to it. Some even have dedicated ceremonies for the preparation and presentation of tea. Not only promoting culture and lifestyle, but this beverage served hot or cold has several benefits for your health, such as antioxidants. Tea is something that you can like or hate but cannot ignore. We hope we have painted a clear picture of different traditions related to tea prevalent across the world.