Four Tea Traditions From Around The World
Photo By: Katie
It is no secret that people have been drinking tea for thousands of years and according to legend, the tradition of drinking tea dates back to the Chinese Emperor Shennong. Legend has it that Emperor Shennong decided to rest under a Camellia tree and boiled water to drink. A dried leaf from the tree above fell into his prepared water and without thinking too much about it, he began drinking it. Upon the first sip, he realized how much the taste of the water had been improved and according to the legend that is how the first pot of tea was discovered.
From there on, the art of tea has spread across the world. Within the years, the tea preparations evolved greatly and thousands of tea recipes and different methods of preparation have been created. These days, a lot of countries around the world choose tea as their preferred drink right after water. Today will look at four of those countries and learn about their tea traditions.
Since tea was discovered in China, the Chinese have a strong tea culture. Tea is considered one of the seven Chinese necessities and it is widely consumed in the country, with the most popular variety being Green Tea. Furthermore, the art of making tea is called “Chao Dao,” which also highly influenced the tea tradition in Japan. If you are planning a trip to China, visit the National Museum in Hangzhou, where you can learn about the historic development of the tea culture in the country.
In the tea-drinking world, India is known as the Land of Chai Tea. Some may think that Britain is the nation of tea drinkers, but in reality, the country that consumes the most tea in the world is India. Guess the kind of tea? That’s right, Chai Tea! Usually, milk and sugar are added for a sweeter and improved taste. The country has hundreds of Chai tea blends, and some mix black tea leaves with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and pepper. Furthermore, vendors called Chai Wallahs sell their brew in small clay cups to the public across the country. Interestingly, some individuals believe that the dust from these clay cups is an important ingredient for brining out the true taste of the tea.
In Morocco the customary blend is the Touareg tea, which is also known as Maghrebi mint tea. A mix a mint, green tea leaves, and a good serving of sugar which is served three times to guests. It is the heart of the Moroccan culture. Refusing to accept the drink when offered is considered extremely rude. In Morocco tea drinking became strongly linked with the act of hospitality. It will be almost impossible not to be offered tea when visiting there.
4) Great Britain
Introduced in the 17th century, tea became loved by almost all in Great Britain. Today, it is a major element of its identity and everyday life. Out of the many tea traditions in Great Britain, the seventh Duchess of Bedford started an important tradition when she requested her household staff to prepare a sort of mini-meal around 4 p.m., where tea and a selection of cakes would be served. This example inspired the upper class and from there, it rapidly spread across Great Britain.
The tradition of tea started either by accident or by an idea and has grown to become part of the four different countries we mentioned. New traditions are being created everyday and the United States is on its way to creating its own tea culture. Which means, it is an exciting time for all of us, as tea enthusiasts to witness and be part of.