For college students, tea is like the all-in-one package. Whether you're going through a breakup, are suffering from a cold, or pushing through a tough semester, there's nothing a hot cup of tea won't fix. In other countries, tea can be part of sacred rituals, acknowledging the history of their origins or the mental and physical benefits that it brings.
It may be that a simple bag-in-a-cup does the trick for you, but there's no reason you shouldn't treat yourself every now and then to a special tea. In other countries, tea is also meant to be consumed with groups of people accompanied with traditional snacks. Have you ever wondered how other countries do it? Find out how you can use these tea traditions from around the world.
India is best known for its chai tea—black tea leaves with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and pepper. Some of the chai masala spice mixtures known as Karha, are derived from Ayurvedic medical practices. Try using chai flavouring in baked goods such as pumpkin pies or cupcakes!
Welcoming guests with a hot cup of Touareg tea (mint tea) is an important way to show hospitality. Tea is often served in colorful frosted glasses, accompanied by an assortment of spiced nut and fruit pastries.
Though the Russians are very much known for their love for vodka, Russians also have a special place for tea in their hearts. They make tea traditionally in a samovar—a kind of urn used to boil water, which has a teapot filled with tea concentrate on the top. Russians typically drink black tea served with milk and sugar, and accompanied usually with pryaniki or other sweet snacks.
According to legend, tea was first discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nong some 5000 years ago, when a dead leaf from a tea bush fell into his cup of hot water. Today, tea is considered one of the seven Chinese necessities, and is drunk throughout the day in big quantities. The most popular type is green tea, followed by oolong.
Tea was introduced to Japan during the 12th century by Chinese monks and Zen Buddhists who taught Japanese priests the philosophical appreciation of this simple beverage. The most popular is powdered green Matcha tea that blew up as a trend in the past year.
Noon Chai is a special blend of tea that includes a mix of pistachios, almonds, salt, milk, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. Often served on special occasions, and typically enjoyed with pastries like sheermaal or bakarkhani.
Bubble tea is an iced tea mixed with powdered milk, lots of sugary syrup, and bubbles. It owes its famous name to the small balls of tapioca, a starchy white grain. The drink has become so popular that you can now find it anywhere outside of Taiwan, or go so far as to make your own.
Britain's love affair with tea is still going strong. You can find tea everywhere: afternoon tea, high tea, tea breaks, tea cakes–all are everyday names and phrases. On average, the British 'fella consumes 3½ cups of tea a day, which is also a perfect excuse to enjoy some scones with jam and cream.
Butter tea, or Po cha, is prepared by boiling tea for several hours to create a strong bitter brew called chaku, which is stored and then blended with salt and yak butter. This drink keeps you warm and is beneficial in high-altitude regions because its high caloric content supplies energy the body needs to function in cold.
As the Chinese proverb goes: “A day without tea is a day without joy.” So put the kettle on, put your feet up, and have that nice cup of tea.