Indian love for tea is world renowned. But, are we the only ones who adore this refreshing drink? The answer is a big ‘NO’. The legend says that tea was accidentally invented by Chinese Emperor Shennong. But, Chinese aren’t the only other country that shares our love for tea. There are over 1500 types of tea in the world. A lot of communities spread across the world has got tea intertwined with their everyday life. Here are 11 of them that surely knows how to stand out.
This powdered tea from Japan has made a lot of buzz for its pleasant green and health benefits. Matcha is the finest form of green tea. It has been long associated with meditation and tea ceremonies in Zen. Matcha tea comes with a bundle full of health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, Matcha said to contain 100 times more antioxidant than normal green tea.
When we prepare green tea, the leaves are steeped in water and thrown out afterwards. But in the case of matcha, the tea is made with the fine powder of the leaves itself. The leaves are slightly steamed, dried, aged to intensify the flavour before grounding into the powder form. The powder is incorporated into the water until it froths and becomes an amazing beverage.
Turkey beats Russia and China in tea consumption, and Cay tea is at the heart of this country. Cay tea may have a Turkish soul, but the Ottoman empire has left its mark on it too. For example, the name came from chá, the Chinese word for tea and is pronounced just like chai. Cay tea is prepared by a multilayered vessel called Çaydanlık, which is influenced by the Russian vessel for preparing tea. It has two kettles, one on top of the other. The beet sugar used to sweeten the tea is unique to Turkey. The Cay tea has a mahogany red colour and is served in a tulip-shaped glass.
Some might say that Po Cha is an acquired flavor because of its salty taste. Western travellers may find it more like a soup than tea. But, Po Cha is deeply acquainted with the essence of Tibetan culture. The tea is popularly known as Butter tea. It is made of black tea, salt, and yak butter. The tea is brewed for hours to develop a bitter taste. It is served piping hot as Po Cha taste the best right after brewing.
This Taiwanese sensation has taken the world by storm in1980s and got its name from its appearance. The tea has tapioca balls on the surface which looks like bubbles or pearls. The tea is popularly known as Bubble tea as well.
Bubble tea can be made with or without milk. And the choice of black, green, or oolong tea is also common. The chewy tapioca balls are usually cooked in sugar syrup and imparts generous flavour to the tea. As popularly believed, this is an invention of Chun Shui Tang Tea House. Whoever has invented, this drink which is also pretty much filling because of the tapioca balls in it, touches the life of Taiwaneese people everyday. And the people around the world who love experimenting culture of every country do not think twice to vouch for this Taiwanese marvel.
Zavarka is Russia’s own traditional tea, and the method is what makes it super special. Once, tea was a luxury that belonged only to the wealthy and Royalty. However, the art of brewing ‘tea concentrate’ and diluting the required amount of it later was discovered by the working class. Eventually, this became the popular method of drinking tea in the entire Russia, a country that spans over 11 time zones. Zavarka is prepared in a metal vessel called samovar. It has a spigot and an attachment. While the spigot boils and dispenses water, the attachment contains the tea concentrate.
If you cannot imagine a tea that tastes tart, brace yourselves for Karkade that tastes like cranberry. This Egyptian speciality is nothing but the extract of hibiscus. Hibiscus flowers grow in abundance in summer, and it makes for a perfect drink to cool down. To make the hibiscus tea, the dried flower petals are soaked in water overnight. Egyptian hibiscus tea is known for its bright crimson red hue. Though popular and generally healthy, hibiscus tea might have some side effects such as expanding your blood vessels. This might not be great for your cardiovascular health.
Yerba mate is a popular morning drink in South America, especially in Argentina. It is widely served in every shop in the country. Most people start their day with sips of Yerba Mate.
In mornings, tea lovers flock to the shops and shares yerba mate with their friends sip by sip. It has caffeine and antioxidants in abundance. This tea is traditionally sipped from a wooden or metal cup. Yerba mate is a shrub, and its leaves are dried and crushed into a powder to make the tea. It has a mixed flavour of green tea, coffee, tobacco, and oak and is sipped through a metal straw called Bombilla.
Like the emotions invoked by the name, purple tea is a rare variety that is grown only in the mountains of Kenya. The plants need cooler temperature and higher altitudes to grow. The plant when receives more sunlight boosts the production of anthocyanins and polyphenols on the leaves. Purple tea has a similar level of anthocyanins as in blueberries. The purple colour of the leaves is also derived of these same compounds. It has a milder taste with low astringency and bitterness than other teas.
This Asian drink is popular in Southeast Asia, and it can be served either hot or cold. The tea is often made with condensed milk. Its flavour is escalated with orange blossom water, star anise, and tamarind seeds. It is widely served in restaurants and by street vendors. Yellow or orange food colour is also added to make it more attractive. The tea leaves are, however, from locally grown Ceylon tea variety.
Karak Chai has very close taste to Indian Masala Chai. It even looks very similar to Indian chai. The reason is simple. Karak tea is inspired by the Indian Masala Chai and now has became a part of the traditional lifestyle. It is quite popular in Qatar, and every local tea shop serves it. Similar to Masala Chai, Karak tea is prepared with spices and herbs which explains its heartwarming aroma. Most people use cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger in it to enhance the taste. But, sometimes expensive saffron spice is also added to it to make it specially flavored.
‘Gong Fu Cha’ means great tea making competencies. Chinese probably has the most elaborate tea ceremonies in the world and Chinese tea ceremonies are time-consuming process aims at transforming an individuals to better beings. This needs knowledge as well as the skills together.
It is a ritual performed before martial arts practices to balance the energy in people. A Yixing teapot, chahai (tea pitcher), brewing tray, and kettle are the essentials for the Chinese tea ceremony. However, the heart of Gongfu tea is the spring water with minerals. The tea is served in very small tea cups.