Tea Traditions from Around the World
Tea is a popular drink for many reasons, from its health benefits to its diverse array of aromas and flavors. However, tea is more than just a healthy, tasty drink. Tea has been lauded for centuries, and it’s an important part of many cultures from all over the globe. These tea traditions from around the world will give you a new perspective on these beloved beverages.
Japan and Matcha
The Way of Tea is a ceremony in Japan that consists of preparing green tea in front of a small group of guests. However, the ceremony isn’t just about preparing quality tea. The movements of the brewing process are very precisely choreographed for the guests to enjoy. From the seating arrangements to the post-brew cleaning, everything is very meticulously planned ahead of time. Matcha is also very unique because it’s a powdered green tea, not loose-leaf.
India and Spicy Chai
In the United States, “chai” isn’t exactly an obscure term due to the popularity of chai lattes. However, something you may not know is how important chai is to daily life in India. People serve and consume this spicy tea all over the country on a daily basis, whether they’re visiting a friend or a neighbor, hosting guests of their own, or walking by a chaiwala on a street corner or in a train station.
In India, chai tea is specifically prepared by mixing black tea leaves with spices such as cinnamon and cloves. For a proper chai, it’s important to balance those ingredients by adding milk and sugar, resulting in a sweet and spicy experience. Drinking chai isn’t quite as ritualistic as matcha is in Japan, but it’s still a very important part of day-to-day life in the country.
Argentina and Yerba Mate
Just as chai is important to the daily life in India, so is yerba mate in Argentina. If you’re not familiar with yerba mate, you might recognize it by its other iconic moniker, “the drink of the gods.” Suffice it to say, yerba mate is kind of a big deal. The name “yerba mate” comes from the yerba mate plant, which provides a highly caffeinated tea for guests to enjoy. In Argentina, after plucking the leaves of the yerba mate plant, the host begins brewing the tea for guests and presents it to them with a bombilla. The guests then consume the tea using the bombilla, a special drinking straw that’s strictly for consumption, not stirring. Stirring the yerba mate with the bombilla is an insult to the host. The tea is traditionally consumed by passing the pot (or “gourd”) around from guest to guest.
These tea traditions from around the world have been part of these cultures for many, many years. Hopefully, knowing these stories will add something extra to your next cup of chai, yerba mate, or matcha. As great as the flavors, aromas, and health benefits of tea are, each cup can be more than that: a window to a beloved, centuries-old tradition. At Fusion Teas, you can find these teas and many more—including a variety of immune-boosting teas—to introduce into your daily routine.