How Tea is Enjoyed Around the World

Tea has been proven to have multiple benefits, from being a means to soothe anxiety to a source of healthy antioxidants. As we’ve previously discussed in Tea as a Daily Mindfulness Practice, tea can even serve as a simple way to practice mindful behavior so that we react to adversity without lashing out at those around us. One of the best parts is that tea tastes amazing wherever it is made in the world. Looking to expand your knowledge of tea? Here’s a closer look at how tea is enjoyed in other countries.

As early as the 12th century, the Singpho people would smoke cane parcels packed with toasted Assam tea leaves. It was in the early 1900s that Indian tea-drinking culture adopted the British affection for adding milk and sugar, but with increased amounts to offset the strength of the boiled tea.

These gave birth to the modern masala chai, which today is a breakfast staple for many Indians. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea from the Darjeeling region is drunk black, which best retains its muscatel flavor and honors its process of hand-cultivation. Tea drunk in the morning is often followed by additional cups throughout the day and is easily available at canteens and tea vendors throughout the country.

Tea has become a part of Taiwan’s culture since the late 18th century. Today, kids drink tea from a young age, and many Taiwanese citizens can tell the difference between different Taiwanese tea varieties like Dong Ding Oolong and High Mountain Oolong.

In fact, tea is so beloved in the country that some of their most prominent tourist attractions are the tea houses on Mao Kong Shan. This means that Taiwan is a great destination for tea lovers because visitors can relax among the scenery while trying out the best teas Taiwan can offer in their 24/7 teahouses. Afterward, tourists can even opt to go hiking around the area, which used to be the biggest tea-growing area in the city.

A modern and sweet rendition of Taiwan’s local teas is the well-known bubble tea trend. Nowadays, however, bubble tea shops are giving way to the slower habit of drinking tea or gong fu cha, wherein every cup of tea allows you to experience new tastes and aromas.

United States
Sweet tooths are common in America, so it’s no surprise that sweet tea is a common beverage in the United States. The first tea plant arrived in this country in South Carolina in the late 1700s, and early cookbooks show us that tea was usually served cold. In 1879, Marion Cabell Tyree would publish the first recipe for sweet tea in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia.

This was solidified in the hearts of all Americans after the 1904 Worlds Fair in Missouri, when attendees went in search of cold drinks, including iced tea, to withstand the scorching summer. 

Some years later, in 1908, came the invention of tea bags. Customers of tea merchant Thomas Sullivan mistakenly brewed their purchases in their packaging, which were small silken bags. This accidental invention would be developed for commercial production in the 1920s, thereafter helping to establish a tea-drinking culture in the U.S.

United Kingdom
A list of tea cultures would be incomplete without the UK, where over 80 million kilograms of tea get sold in a year. Here, the strong and malty blend of English Breakfast black tea is paired with milk and sugar and enjoyed throughout the day. In fact, 33% of people drink 4 to 5 cups of tea per day during the week. That’s because this is a prominent feature of British society wherein tea can be drunk during law-mandated workers’ breaks and social events when entertaining guests.

Did any of these practices surprise you? Everyone has their unique way of enjoying this versatile drink. Share with us how you enjoy your tea, and you may find a kindred soul. 

Article produced by Iris Nadine Wilmer
Photo Credit: Pexels

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