Best Tea Traditions Around The World
A beverage which has its roots strongly fixed into the earth and dates back to the 2700 century BC and is still running strong in the game is none other than our most favorite, "TEA". Tea is a widely accepted beverage which has been around for more than 4,000 years now. Different countries have their own traditions and histories with regard to tea. So, let us take you on a world tour and explore some of the best tea traditions in the world.
China is a country that is known for its authentic historical traditions. They are very concerned about these traditions and make certain that they are not violated in any way. Tea for the Chinese came into being by the sudden fate of nature. The Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was sitting under a tree while his servant was boiling water for him. By chance, some leaves from the tree blew into the water and got infused. The emperor, who was a herbalist himself, tried this infusion, and soon this drink was called tea, and the tree whose leaves fell into the water was Camellia sinensis. Whether this story is completely true or not, we can no doubt say that China discovered tea way prior to the western explorers.
Gong fu is a very well-known Chinese tea tradition. It means' making tea with skill.’ It is the process of making tea with precision. It is a five-step tradition:
2. Morocco: The origin of tea in Morocco has various stories. It is assumed that Queen Victoria had sent tea to the Moroccans as a tribute for releasing the British prisoners or it was introduced to them by the Arabs. Whatever the origin maybe Morocco today comes in the list of world’s largest exporter of tea. It is famous for its Moroccan Mint Tea tradition. It is known as Touareg tea or the Maghrebi mint tea. It is made up of green tea leaves and mint along with a good amount of sugar. The tea is poured into tall delicate glasses from a height in order to get the perfect Moroccan mint froth.
- Warm up: Warm your gaiwan, a lidded bowl essentially used for brewing, and the teacups with boiling water and then discard all the water.
- Rinse. Fill the gaiwan with tea leaves in a ratio of 5g/150ml. Rinse the leaves with boiling water. Pouring will be done till the pot overflows, and then empty it immediately with the lid slightly open in order to not "cook" the leaves.
- Brew. Pour water into the brewing vessel. As a loose rule on temperature, the greener and fresher the tea, the lower the water temperature. 80C for green, 85-90 for oolongs, and anything up to boiling for black and pu-erh. Depending on the tea, brew between 10 and 30 seconds
- Serve. Pour the tea from the gaiwan into the tea pitcher with the aim of equalizing the strength of the brew, and then serve in cups.
- Repeat. Re-perform steps 3 and 4, gradually adding time to each subsequent brew until your tea either loses its flavor or becomes astringent.
The tea is served three times as the Moroccan believe that: "The first glass is as gentle as life, the second is as strong as love, the third is as bitter as death." If you refuse to have any one of the three servings it is regarded as extremely rude.
3. Tibet: Tea was introduced to the Tibetans when Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty married the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. This culture exchange led tea to make its way into Tibet. ‘Po Cha’ is the traditional tea of tibet. Their tea tradition is very unique. They boil a brick of any pu-erh tea cakes most commonly, Pemagul Black tea for a couple of hours and then milk, salt, and most importantly yak butter is added. The mixture is churned together until it gains a soup-like consistency. It is their traditional tea which is quite comforting in high altitude cold areas as it keeps the body warm and cleanses it as well.
- In The Moroccan teapot hot water is poured in and special Chinese Green Tea is added to it.
- After the tea leaves are infused into the water it is taken out and set aside.
- Then in the teapot mint leaves are added along with a lot of sugar and the infused water is added to it.
- Then the teapot is put on the stove to boil.
- Once boiled properly the tea is mixed properly by pouring it in the glass and then pouring it back into the teapot. The process is repeated until everything is mixed properly.
4. Iran: Tea entered Iran during 453 BCE through the silk road. Tea became so popular that ‘chaikhanehs’ were created which was a tea room where ‘chai’ along with some sweets were served. Very strong tea is served. Instead of putting sugar into the tea to sweeten it, one is encouraged to put a sugar cube between their front teeth and suck the strong brew through it.
5. Malaysia: The first tea plantation was established in Malaysia during the British colonization, in Cameron Highlands.But what makes teh tarik or "pulled tea" special is how it's mixed. To achieve its distinctly frothy texture, Malaysian brewers pour the beverage back and forth between mugs, giving the liquid repeated access to cool air as it flows from one glass to another. As this tradition developed, so too did the showmanship of its making. To watch teh tarik being mixed is to witness an elaborate and energetic dance, where the brew behaves as a partner, leaping to and fro without a drop ever being lost.
So how was the world tour? Some tea traditions might have baffled you, right? This is what tea is. It amazes you and sometimes shocks you too. It has its own magical journey and is liked by most people in the world. Try out some of these traditions and get lost in the charms of tea.