Tea has always been popular in Asia, Europe, and North America. What about tea culture in other parts of the world? In my recent travel to Cusco and Lima, Peru, I learned that they too drink quite a bit of tea. I saw much more tea being sold than coffee. A lot of the teas have been enjoyed as a beverage since Incan times but more tea is being sold because healthy products are experiencing rapid growth in Peru as well.
Here are some of the popular teas I had the opportunity to try in Peru, coca leaves and muna being the most popular in many restaurants and hotels.
This is an Andean Mint. Its aroma is pretty strong. I would say more strong in aroma and taste than peppermint and spearmint. It is very minty with a subtle sweetness and more herbal taste than peppermint or spearmint.
This is Chamomile in Peru. They taste sweet and are not as potent in taste and aroma as the Chamomile from Egypt. The flavors are well balanced and smooth.
A medicinal herb found in the Andes. It smells amazing and with hints of lemon, it is calming as a tea.
It has a smooth taste and the aroma of chocolate without the calories. Great to satisfy that chocolate craving without the guilt that normally goes with it.
Coca leaves are very popular and can be found everywhere. It is used to help with altitude sickness in Cusco. The taste is unique. It has hints of dried grass and fresh hay and reminiscent of yerba mate, but something else entirely.
Although these teas are popular in Peru, it was also interesting to find a lot of cafes serving camellia sinensis teas as well. It was a wonderful experience to learn and see what teas are being enjoyed around the globe, especially those we may never have been exposed to before!