Freelance contribution by Geraldine Mills
Tea is such a versatile drink that you can have worldwide and yet experience something new every time.
If you’re a tea lover, you should try traveling the world and experience the different tea cultures that each country has.
If this interests you, here are ten tea experiences worth trying out around the world that you shouldn’t miss.
Cha Dao in China
When talking about tea, the best place to start would probably be in China.
Since China has a variety of climates in the country, it is home to all sorts of tea. They have the usual ones that you’re familiar with: Oolong, Jasmine, and so on.
But there are plenty of other strains of tea that you probably haven’t tried for yourself.
Cha Dao is a vital part of Chinese tea culture and is all about the art of tea. Much like the Japanese tea ceremony, plenty of Daoist and Chinese philosophies are the inspiration for Cha Doa.
Chanoyu, Tea Ceremony in Japan
The Japanese Tea Ceremony, also known as chanoyu or the “way of tea,” is a cultural and formal activity involving the preparation of matcha or dried green tea leaves.
Since matcha is dried green tea that they ground until it becomes a smooth powder, the preparation for it is different from how you’re used to making tea.
The tea ceremony took inspiration from many of the Zen Buddhist principles. This ritual is tranquil and formal, and if you plan on trying this out for yourself, make sure that you respect the practice.
A tea master will prepare the tea for you, and you should try this tea ceremony and treat it with the utmost level of formality.
Mint Tea in Morocco
Tea is more than a comfort drink in some cultures. For example, in the Moroccan culture, when you think of tea you think of hospitality and friendship.
In Morocco, they serve their guests with Maghrebi mint tea to welcome their guests.
When a guest comes over, households in Morocco usually serve three glasses of Maghrebi mint tea. Guests would drink it throughout the day, either with some food or by drinking it as is.
Afternoon Tea in England
If you find yourself in England, it would be a mistake not to indulge in a traditional afternoon tea session.
Afternoon tea is all about enjoying plenty of tiny, bite-sized snacks between lunch and dinner and drinking as much tea with it as you can.
The snacks that you should enjoy while having afternoon tea would range from all sorts of food. Of course, the key is that they should be bite-sized, or at least petite enough.
Here are a few tea companions you could have:
- Small sandwiches
Having afternoon tea in England will make you feel like a languorous royal, enjoying another afternoon of no hard work in your estate.
Masala Chai in India
If you’re going to go on an expedition around the world to learn more about tea, it’s a must that you stop by India and experience Masala chai there.
Masala chai is black tea combined with other spices that differ from place to place.
If you want to bring some Masala chai back home in your carry-on, make sure that you take the time to comb through smaller shops in the markets. That’s where you’ll get the most authentic and genuine taste of local Masala chai.
But take note that the mix of spices differs per locality so will vary for each one.
Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka
Ceylon black tea is the type of tea that is uniquely Sri Lankan; so if you find yourself in Sri Lanka, what better place to get it than there. They grow Ceylon tea in the Sri Lankan highlands, which gives it its unique full-bodied yet citrusy taste.
You can do a taste test of Ceylon tea if you plan to visit various Sri Lanka regions. You’ll be surprised how much the tea flavor changes depending on which area you go to.
Cha Yen in Thailand
Thailand is a popular destination for tourists all over the world looking for a summer beach getaway.
If you’re one of those people staying in Thailand to enjoy the balmy summer, you should also try out this cold tea drink in Thailand, Cha Yen.
Cha Yen is what many know as Thai iced tea.
It’s black tea added with other flavors and a variety of spices. It’s light and floral, so you’d love drinking it on a hot, summer day in Thailand.
Yerba Maté in Argentina
Yerba mate is the dried leaves of the Yerba mate plant that you steep in hot water.
You put it in a hollow gourd and drink it through a metal straw that has a strain that stops you from consuming the dried leaves.
You can find many locals drinking it casually at home or while relaxing outside with friends and family in Argentina.
Zavarka in Russia
Since Russia was also a part of the Silk Road trading route, it makes sense that they have their tea culture. Russia’s tea culture is fascinating because Zavarka, or Russian tea, is less about tea and more about how you make and serve it.
The key to zavarka is the samovar, a metal and often ornate container where you store and pour hot water. There is an attachment where you keep the tea concentrate.
Russian culture associates tea as something that you have with a light meal. If you have guests over, you offer them snacks as well as tea.
Chai in Iran
Chai is also present in Iran, but it is different from Indian chai. Iranian chai can be quite strong if you’re not used to it.
There are all different types of chai depending on what you add to it, but its raw form is called chai.
You can’t have a special occasion in Iran without serving chai and drinking it while the event is going on.
Geraldine Mills is a self-confessed wanderlust from the land down under, Australia! She loves sharing the allure of backpacking and being one with nature. She recommends bringing your best carry-on to get the most out of your tea travel experience!