It was in 2737 BC when dried tea leaves fell into a pot of water. The Chinese emperor and herbalist, Shennong drank this accidental infusion and found it very refreshing. Known for its medicinal properties tea became very popular in the 3rd century AD. It gained popularity amongst the Chinese and Japanese monks and priests who drank tea to keep themselves alert during meditation and prayers.
Tea travelled to Portugal, Britain and many other parts of Europe. The British then brought tea to India in the 17th Century. Assam tea and Darjeeling tea were exported around the world and are known as the some of the best varieties of teas. It became the second-most popular beverage in the world, after water. Different countries started consuming teas in many different ways.
Read on for some of the popular teas from around the world.
The Chinese take their tea very seriously. Enjoyed through the day, tea is a social habit among people of all social statures. The quality of the tea is judged by colour, aroma, flavour, the quality of water and even the tea set. The tea is best enjoyed hot because it is believed that tea oxidizes quickly after brewing and all the good nutrients are lost. One of the most popular teas available in China is the Pu-erh – sold in a ball or brick form that are crumbled and steeped in hot water before consumption.
This is where tea met perfection. Famous for its tea ceremonies and tea houses, the tea ceremonies followed even today, are an honored tradition. The tradition is about respect and humility. The Sukiya, or the tea house, have low doors which you have to crawl through, thereby bowing before you enter the precious space. The most popular tea is Matcha, a powdered green tea and is traditionally used for the tea ceremonies.
Turks love their tea or Çay. Tea is a sign of hospitality and is offered at all social events, visits to people’s houses and even while shopping! Usually served black, with cubes of sugar, it can also be infused with some herbs for flavour and health benefits.
4. The United Kingdom
The proper tea. Brewed in a pot and served with sugar, milk or lemon in the finest tea sets . Tea drinking has been very popular in the country since the 16th Century. The afternoon tea – served at 4 pm is served with pastries, tiny sandwiches, cookies, cakes and lots more.
5. United States Of America
Coffee is still the most preferred beverage, but black tea in enjoyed with meals and as a refreshment. Iced tea is very popular in the United States – bottled and fresh– in a variety of delicious flavours.
Coffee is the most consumed beverage in Brazil. But hot tea is consumed for its medicinal properties at social gatherings. Brazil has a European influence when serving tea – served in fine porcelains and silver servings with cookies, Brazilian cheese breads and cakes.
Assam & Darjeeling tea are the most popular teas in India, but most Indians don’t prefer liquor tea. The Chai (or masala chai) is made with CTC leaves by boiling water, milk, sugar and various spices and is made by street vendors, high-end restaurants and in homes.
Here are some other famous tea regions and the kind of tea they drink:
Black tea infused with cardamom and saffron.
Teh tarik is frothed black tea, sugar, and milk served hot.
10. South Africa
Roobios, a plant that produces bright red tea found exclusively in this region.
Black iced tea topped with condensed milk.
Spearmint steeped in green tea.
The po cha or butter tea is tea combined with salt and yak butter.
The ancient traditions and cultures of tea are followed even today. The flavours, fragrances and kinds of tea are diverse.
The love for tea is undying. So is yours!
Which is your favourite tea? How do you like to drink your teas?
Write your comments below.