A look in to the distinct Tea Cultures around the globe21/12/2019 View: 4210
Sipping on tea is not just an activity like eating food or drinking water. Enjoying a nicely made cup of tea is an experience in itself. The most consumed beverage around the world after water is Tea. And every country, every region across the globe has their own style and culture around brewing, sharing and consuming teas. Here are some of the most popular tea cultures from around the world which have become popular over time.
India – Chai
In India, Chai is not a beverage. It is an emotion. From major corporate meetings to hangout sessions with buddies, chai is something that bonds people well. The Indian tea is a sweet, milky beverage with slight kick of spice from the blend of crushed ginger and cardamom. In India, you might not find an ATM or a public toilet when in need, but you’ll find a stall at every corner of the street, selling piping hot tea, served in tiny cups that resemble shot glasses. Since a decade, Indians have now also began experimenting with healthier options like green tea and organic black teas (sans milk) too.
UK British – Afternoon Tea
If one talks about tea, then it is impossible that the British and their favourite pastime doesn’t come into the conversation. The United Kingdom and Tea is a love story made in heaven. Drinking Tea is an elaborate affair for the British. They enjoy an array of snacks like Scones, Sandwiches and Biscuits along with their tea, which could be either the unflavoured strong black tea, or the sweet milk version. Usually had at 3 or 4 PM, The Afternoon Tea is basically a mini meal to stem the hunger before supper time in the evening.
Japan – Matcha
Consuming tea in Japan is an elaborate affair in hospitality and well known across the world as a part of the Asian culture. The favourite kind of tea for the Japanese is the Matcha Tea, also known as powdered Green Tea. The Japanese Tea Ceremony, known as Chado or Chanoyu, which roughly translates to “Way of Tea”, is an important part of the Japanese culture. The Matcha Tea flavour has now inspired various desserts and snacks too, which people across the world savour with delight.
Korea – Darye
Despite China having invented and innovated the culture of drinking tea and the British spread it across the world centuries ago, Korea was a bit late to the “tea party’. The country has its own share of history and culture for Tea making, serving and which dates back to the early 1970s. A traditional Korean Tea has the infusion of various natural flavours like flowers, roots, seaweed and even mushrooms. Darye is the Korean Tea Ceremony, has taken influence from Zen Buddhism and each step from steeping the tea to serving them to the guests, is conducted with grace.
Morocco – Touareg
Tea in Morocco is directly linked to its warm hospitality, for which it is known around the world. The Moroccan Mint Tea is known as Touareg and it is at the heart of the Moroccan culture. Anyone who 1visits a house in Morocco is served with overly sweet beverage, and refusing it is considered rude. The process of making Tea in Morocco is known as Atai, where green tea, mint leaves are brewed and served in a coloured glass cup with generous amounts of sugar in them.
China – Oolong, Jasmine Cha Doa
If there’s any culture around the globe, who takes their tea brewing and drinking culture with utmost seriousness, then it is the Chinese. And the most popular method of making tea is the Gongfu Cha or Kung Fu Tea, which literally translates to Making Tea with Skills. Serving tea to people in China is a sign of respect, gratitude and an integral part of family celebrations. The Chinese also invite people to have tea with them as a mark of apology for any wrongdoing they have done. Another interesting aspect about the Chinese culture of tea, is tapping your finger on the table to thank your host for the hospitality.
What we can conclude from this is that no matter how different we are across countries and continents, if there’s something that binds us all together as a global family, it is Tea!