- Tea tends to be more than just a beverage in countries around the world, but a moment of togetherness and connection.
- There are many rituals and traditions for tea as well as many different types.
- From Taiwan's bubble tea to Argentina's yerba mate, we look at 17 ways teas are enjoyed around the world.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Calling all tea lovers! This one's for you. This aromatic drink tends to be more than just a beverage. Along with health benefits, tea represents togetherness in countries around the world. Let's take a look at the different types of tea and the many traditions that are paired with it.
From the birthplace of all tea comes pu'er (poo-air). Grown for thousands of years in the Yunnan Province in southwest China, where tea trees are worshipped, this tea is legendary. It's made from the leaves of a tree known as the "wild old tree" and is fermented anywhere from weeks to decades. This means some pu'er can cost a fortune. The tea is typically sold as compressed "cakes." Like fine wine, pu'er is best enjoyed slowly in small sips.
Yerba Mate is the perfect go-to when you're looking for a boost of caffeine but want to skip the coffee. Traditionally the beverage is prepared in a gourd that is shared amongst guests. The drink is typically consumed out of a bombilla, or a metal straw made of silver, copper, or stainless steel.
Rooibos is a caffeine-free herb that is indigenous to the Cederberg region of South Africa. It has been harvested and brewed in the mountainous region for hundreds of years. In fact, South Africa is the only country in the world that produces rooibos. Once brewed, the tea is red in color and has a bitter taste, similar to yerba mate. It's also known as red tea or red bush tea.
Bubble tea, also known as boba or black pearl tea, is a popular iced-tea drink from Taiwan. It was created in the late 1980s when milk tea had already been common in Asian countries. Bubble tea combines a base of milk tea, sweetener, and "bubbles," which are small balls made from tapioca or fruit jelly. Bubble tea is made by shaking the iced- tea base with milk to produce a rich, silky texture. The air bubbles created by the vigorous shaking are an essential element of the drink.
In Morocco, atai (atay), the process of brewing and drinking tea, is a ceremonious tradition that symbolizes friendship, hospitality, and a level of comfort with guests. Moroccan mint tea combines a base of green tea with fresh mint leaves and sugar. The tea is poured from a height of 12 inches over the small glass, creating a foam on top of the drink, a symbol that the tea has been brewed long enough. If there is no foam on the surface of the tea, it is returned to the pot and steeped longer. The ritual of pouring hot tea from a great height is an impressive sign of an experienced host.
A London Fog combines Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. It was created in Vancouver, after Mary Loria, who was pregnant at the time, requested an alternative to coffee. The drink, also known as a Vancouver Fog, now has many different varieties but remains popular â€" especially on cold, rainy days. This berry tea is called omija-cha. It is made from dried magnolia berries. Omija means "five-flavor berry," so you can expect this tea to be salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and pungent. The tea has primarily been used for medicinal purposes such as lowering blood pressure and detoxification. Because of its vibrant color, omija-cha makes a great base for fruit punch. It's typically sweetened with honey or sugar.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, imported coffee grew in price, and what is now known as Turkey made a cultural shift to drinking more tea. Turkish tea is served in glasses that are distinct to Turkish cay (chai), meant to show off the tea's rich mahogany color, so drinkers can admire this and also manage their preference for the tea's strength.
Chai in Hindi means tea. Masala chai is a spiced tea originating from India, and combines black tea with aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, black peppercorn, milk, and sugar. Traditionally, the milk used to make masala chai comes from water buffalos. The drink has become widely popular and is best enjoyed with snacks.
Instead of steeping dried tea leaves in boiling water, matcha, hailing from Japan, is created by grinding young green tea leaves into a bright green powder. Though matcha is known for its strong levels of caffeine, the ritual of preparing the beverage is respected as a calming, choreographic technique. The Japanese tea ceremony is called chanoyu. First, the matcha powder is measured with a small wooden ladle called a chashaku. It is brewed in a tea bowl called a chawan, and water is slowly combined with the powder by using a chasen, a handmade bamboo whisk. The ceremony is about directing attention to the aesthetics of the process and motions created with your hands. The host of the ceremony has the guest's interest in mind with every movement.Matcha is enjoyed with Japanese sweet treats to offset the bitter taste from the drink.
English breakfast tea is meant to accompany a protein-rich English breakfast. It is made from strong black tea typically from China, India, Kenya, or Sri Lanka. The flavor is stronger than a tea one might drink in the late afternoon, as it has high levels of caffeine. English breakfast tea is prepared by steeping your tea bag for three to five minutes and is finished with a splash of milk and scoop of sugar.
Karkade (care-ka-ee), or hibiscus tea, is a popular drink in Egypt made from the dried, dark red petals from the hibiscus flower. It is said that cold karkade tea was served to the pharaohs in ancient Egypt to help cool them down in the hot desert heat. Karkade also plays an important role in North African culture and is often served during religious and healing ceremonies.
Hong Kong's silk-stocking tea gets its name from the method in which the tea leaves are brewed, in a large tea sock that resembles stockings. This drink stems from British colonial rule over Hong Kong, with the British tradition of afternoon tea, but instead of milk and sugar, silk stocking tea combines black tea with evaporated or condensed milk for sweetness. Advertisement
Cha yen is a sweet drink that's bright in color and starts with a strong base of black tea. It is a staple of Thai street-food culture. Similar to the style of Hong Kong silk-stocking tea, the tea leaves are brewed using a stocking filter in a large pot of water. Once the tea is dark in color and cooled, it's served over crushed ice with sweetened condensed milk. The sweet flavor of cha yen is commonly used to balance the spicy flavors of Thai cuisine.
This drink is named after the legendary American golfer, Arnold Palmer. He suggested that his wife add lemonade to a pitcher of iced tea. Palmer was overheard ordering the eponymous beverage at a restaurant in Palm Springs, California, and a nearby patron was intrigued and requested an order of the "Arnold Palmer" drink as well, by his specifications. Arizona Beverages bought the rights to the drink, and today the Arnold Palmer, also known as the "half and half," is an iconic beverage served around the United States and is easily identified by the contrast between the dark brewed iced tea and cooling lemonade on top.
Iran's tea is defined by its deep reddish-brown color and is significant to the culture. It is served with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Iranian households, where samovars are kept on the stove all day. Milk is typically not added to the drink.
Po cha, also known as butter tea, is an essential drink and a symbol of strength. The drink is rich with dairy and combines black tea, butter made from yak's milk, and salt as the primary flavors.