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Tea Culture Around the World

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Tea Culture Around the World

When we think about tea today, we often conjure up visions of a well-to-do very British family sitting upright in the afternoon sun balancing cups and saucers and china plates full of dainty cakes while sipping their favourite beverage - a cup of tea. But tea only arrived in Britain in the 1650s and back then it was a very rare drink that few people consumed. 

Tea and its traditions go a long way back, thousands of years in fact to the Shang dynasty of China, where one of the earliest accounts of tea drinking dates back to when tea was used as a medicinal drink. Tea drinking is very much a way of life in China and has significantly influenced Chinese culture both physically and spiritually. Thanks to the country's diverse climate China is able to cultivate hundreds of different types of tea - green, black, white, oolong and jasmine to name just a few of the more popular varieties and has made huge revenue from its tea production as it is the largest tea producer and exporter in the world. But plenty of tea stays at home, as Chinese tea culture is an integral part of the traditional Chinese culture - the spirit of a tea ceremony is harmony, peace, happiness and truthfulness. The tea ceremony is a tradition that exemplifies Chinese culture as it is believed that drinking tea is a process of spiritual enjoyment, an art, a means of cultivating the moral character and nourishing the mind. Great care is taken in the quality of the tea and the water that is used in its preparation.

The enjoyment and beneficial factors of drinking tea started to spread, and it became widely popular during the Tang dynasty, spreading to Korea, Japan, the Indian Subcontinent, the Iranian Plateau and eventually reaching Europe and North Africa along the Silk Roads, and suddenly tea rituals were happening all around the world.

Tea Culture Around the World

Japan adopted green tea for religious ceremonies in monasteries, and soon the elite were drinking tea and tea parties became fashionable. Nowadays Japanese green teas like sencha and matcha are considered some of the best in the world, and the tea ceremony is an important part of Japanese culture. Preparing and drinking tea is a meditative process that brings tranquillity and balance to those who take part, and harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity must be embraced in order to achieve this purpose. By allowing yourself to become immersed in the way of tea you can forget about daily problems - something that we could all do with in our fast-paced modern world today.

As the world's second-largest market, India is famous for its Assam and Darjeeling tea, and the practice of Ayurveda has resulted in a long-standing tradition of herbal teas and their potential medicinal benefits. Chai tea is served everywhere you go by "chaiwalah" and is a warming and spicy black tea made with milk, sugar and spices - usually cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and fennel. Tea in India is a symbol of hospitality and is served at every occasion, from grand weddings to simple train journeys.

There are many other tea ceremonies around the world, including the perhaps less well-known Moroccan tea ceremony known as "Atay Naa Naa". It is considered the most refined expression of hospitality and originally was a ceremonial art to be prepared in front of guests by the head of the household. The basic ingredients are green tea, fresh mint leaves, sugar and boiling water, and it is known for its freshness and potential thirst-quenching qualities.

For those interested in wholesale tea, exploring these diverse tea cultures can provide inspiration and insight into the vast world of tea varieties.

Create Your Own Tea Ceremony

Tea has reached just about every corner of our planet and is enjoyed for many reasons - potential health benefits, medicinal purposes, thirst-quenching abilities, spiritual ceremonies, and in Britain, it is literally the answer to any and all problems when you sit down and have a "nice cup of tea". But the main thread of all the tea rituals around the world seems to be that it brings people together, and shows respect, peace and harmony.

Tea cultures around the world have lasted for thousands of years, probably longer than any other tradition, and tea is more popular today than ever. So why not visit our website at Teavision and choose some of the best quality and most delicious varieties of organic teas you can imagine, and create your very own tea ceremony for you and your loved ones?

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  • Lucas Ruzicka
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