Chai Tales: How People Across The World Drink Their Tea Will Fascinate You!
Chai is a pseudo-religion in India. The country runs on its cutting chais and masala chais. In fact, tea is one of the major businesses for us. Had it not been for tea, the Munnar and Assam would’ve have had to rethink their entire livelihood.
Tea is also more than a beverage. Something beautiful happens when people bond over a couple of glasses. A cutting chai is often accompanied by endless conversations. That post lunch chai or evening tea is the moment when you catch up with people. It is an event in itself.
As they say, when life gives you chai, you don’t question it. You drink it!
We Indians are quite specific about how we like our chai. There is a certain method we follow when we make it at home. But did you know not everyone drinks the chai the same way as us desis?
Prepare to be amazed by how people across the world drink their tea. It is fascinating!
The Japanese have a thing for Matcha tea, they are quite serious about it. This tea is made with green tea leaves powdered to a fine texture and mixed with hot water. Unlike traditional green tea where you discard the leaves, with Matcha you are actually drinking the leaves! This more potent and has more nutrients.
Tibetans have a different tea preparation. Their ‘Po Cha’ or butter tea might taste odd for the Indian palate. They use bricks of black tea and boil it for hours. Some of that concoction is then added to boiling water, milk and yak butter and salt.
Mexican tea is known for its medicinal properties. Their Agua de Jamaica or Hibiscus Tea is the proof of that. The tarty flavor is balanced by adding sugar or honey.
Pakistan derives its Sabaz Chai or Noon Chai from Kashmiri influences. This chai comes in pink color! The tea has to be cooked in a samavar and special tea leaves are used .Baking soda, milk and salt are then added to the mixture. Yes. it ain’t sweet but they swear by it! Pistachios and cardamoms are also the popular additions.
Taiwan’s bubble tea is quite a fad. Tapioca balls or boba balls are crucial to this preparation. The tea base is your usual iced tea, milk and boba balls. It is not unusual to find sweet flavorings added to the tea. Many tea places in Taiwan are known to get creative with their bubble teas.
Turkey is more known for their potent coffees. But their tea game is pretty strong too! They serve their Çay tea in pretty tulip shaped glasses. The crimson colored tea is never had with milk. You can add two sugar cubes though!
#7. South America
South America’s Yerba Mate Tea is mother of all chais. The tea is not really tea at all! The twig and leaves of the Yerba mate plant are dried to a fine mixture. It has caffeine which acts as a stimulant. The mixture is steeped in hot water. The tea is also known for promoting weight loss and helping with depression. Yep, it is therapy in a cup but to be enjoyed in moderation!
Did you know that Britain was the biggest consumer of tea after China?! The country obviously had its first tryst with tea because of India. The Brits love their tea and prefer it over coffee, they even have a time dedicated to it, 4 pm called as High Tea. They use Oolong black tea more often than not and add milk and sugar as per taste. Their tea is not as milky as ours though.
Or known as Maghrebi Mint Tea, is quite refreshing. Their tea has a cultural symbol of its own and is traditionally served by head male of the family. If you happen to be a guest at a Moroccan household you are expected to drink three cups of tea before you leave, not doing so and you end up offending their culture. Strong green tea leaves and copious amounts of mint leaves are added with boiled water and sugar for taste.
Traditional Russian tea is served from Samovar, a Russian tea kettle. They use a concentrate of black tea called zavarka which is strong and it is boiled in hot water. The fun element in the tea is that they add jam, usually the sweet strawberry one. This mixture is them steeped for 15 minutes! Add milk and sugar as required and you are ready to go.
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