Tea is a universal drink with universal appeal. The beauty of the beverage is that no matter where you happen to find yourself on the globe you can experience tea time. Although the way you experience tea can change vastly depending on your geographical location, all tea experiences and expressions are united in their ability to bring people together. That being said, join us as we travel the globe with six tea rituals from around the world that span the continents!
Sip Mint Tea in the Maghreb
No meal or gathering is complete in the country of Morocco without a warm cup (or three) of mint tea being presented. Seriously, this mint infused tea is found everywhere in the country; and is closely linked to the practice of hospitality–something the Moroccan people know very well. Moroccan mint tea is comprised of green tea, mint leaves, an abundance of sugar, and is poured from a height from a traditional Moroccan tea pot or barrad.
Guests to a Moroccan household are generally offered three separate cups of tea–each representing love, life and death respectively. Make sure to drink all three offerings, as refusing is seen as the height of rudeness in Moroccan culture. But, don’t fret. Once you have your first taste of Moroccan tea, you won’t want to stop! Interested in brewing some Moroccan mint tea of your own? We recommend this lovely recipe from Honestly Yum.
Butter Tea in Tibet
Butter makes everything better, and the same holds true for tea. In Tibet po cha or butter tea is the beverage of choice for those who call this mountainous country home. Tea was first introduced to Tibet during the reign of China’s Tang Dynasty; and butter tea quickly became a staple with reports of the tea being consumed an average of 60 times a day! Butter tea is a savory drink composed of a regional black tea called Pemagul, yak butter, milk and salt. The preparation of the tea is historically lengthy–requiring the Pemagul to be crushed, soaked in cold water, steeped for multiple hours and placed into a traditional churn called a chandong where butter, milk and salt are thoroughly churned and incorporated into the beverage.
Luckily for you, this process can be significantly sped up by using the modern conveniences of loose-leaf tea and a French press. Butter tea is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. Prepare your own cup with this fun video from Tastemade.
Afternoon Tea in England
When most people think of teatime, thoughts of a traditional English afternoon tea come to mind. It is estimated that Brits drink over 120,000,000 cups of tea every day. With a love for tea that strong, it comes as no surprise that an opportunity to participate in a traditional English teatime is quite the occasion!
Afternoon tea generally consists of a sampling of dainty finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, small cakes and pastries, and of course, tea. Simulate your own afternoon tea affair with these tips on hosting a memorable fete!
Japanese Tea Ceremonies
Found in everything from Kit Kats to face masks, Matcha tea seems to be everywhere these days. However, the green, powdered tea varietal is most at home in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or chanoyu.
This ceremony came about when both matcha and Zen Buddhism were introduced by the Chinese and embraced by the Japanese people. In Japanese culture, a tea ceremony is not solely devoted to enjoying tea–though it is an added benefit. This traditional practice is a highly spiritual experience designed to promote tranquility, harmony, respect and purity.
Sweet Tea in the United States
America has a track record for being big and bold; a reputation that is furthered by its take on tea. Few things are as quintessentially American as a cold glass of iced, sweet tea. Packed to the brim with flavor and sweet cane sugar, this tea is perfect for the sweet tooth in your life. Although most commonly enjoyed in the summer months, sweet tea is a refreshing beverage year round. We recommend brewing a batch using our Luscious Lemon Meringue tea blend.
China: Steeped in History
We’d be remiss to talk tea rituals from around the world without acknowledging China. Credited with first discovering the tealeaf and bringing the beverage to many parts of the world, the Chinese know their tea. And, they know it well. Due to the size of the country and the various climates and geographies it encompasses, the teas cultivated in China differ from region to region.
In China, the preparation of tea is better known as an art form. Chao Dao or the Dao of Tea is a practice that allows for full appreciation for the making and enjoyment of tea; and is a ritual that has been embraced and translated by countless other cultures.