Tea Customs Around the World
In celebration of Heritage month, let’s take a trip to see how tea is enjoyed in different parts of the world.
Made famous in Britain, afternoon tea is easily the most well-known of all global tea traditions! A spot of afternoon tea is the perfect excuse to have a cup of tea and a treat before dinner. Enjoyed with friends and family, a strong pot of tea is traditionally paired with freshly baked scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream. This tea time tradition is not just unique to Britain but is also enjoyed in Canada, Australia and South Africa.
Gong Fu, a Chinese tea ceremony still practiced today, is a traditional way of preparing tea.Made up of multiple infusions of the same tea in a small teapot, this way of brewing tea originated from Chaozhouwhich is why it is also often referred to as ‘Chaozhou Gong Fu Cha’. The purpose of this tea time tradition is to maximize the taste of a tea.
Masala Chai is the preferred style of tea that you will find in India at their local markets, train stations and restaurants. A strong flavoured tea made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian herbs and spices like ginger and cardamom. Chai tea is usually sweetened with sugar and enjoyed with a good helping of milk.
In Egypt, tea is called “shai” and is prepared in two different ways, namely Koshary and Saiidi. Koshary tea is popular in Northern Egypt and is prepared by steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it set for a few minutes. It is always sweetened with cane sugar and is flavoured with fresh mint leaves. Saiidi tea is common in Southern Egypt and is prepared by boiling black tea in water over a strong flame for more than 5 minutes. It is a much sweeter teaas it is sweetened with copious amounts of cane sugar which is much needed as the tea is very bitter.
Maghrebi mint tea, also known as Moroccan mint tea, is made up of green tea, fresh spearmint leaves and sugar.Traditionally, this tea isprepared by the head male of each family and is then offered to guests as a sign of good hospitality. Today, Moroccan mint tea can be enjoyed socially and is consumed throughout the day.
In Turkey, tea is called “çay” and is typically prepared using a “çaydanlık”, which is two stacked kettles specifically designed for making tea. Water is brought to a boil in the bottom kettle, while some of the water is then used to fill the smaller kettle which sits on top of the larger kettle. Several spoons of loose tea leaves are then placed in the larger kettle, resulting in a very strong brew.When served, the water in the smaller kettle is then used to dilute the tea to reach your preferred strength.