Tea From All Around the World
Tea is a worldwide phenomena. Most every country in the world has a specialized traditional tea. We will dive into a few countries around the world and learn their methodologies behind their well crafted tea.
We first visit China, one of the Mecca's of tea. The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China, having originated there. Although tea originated in China, during the Tang Dynasty, Chinese tea generally represents tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China. Chun Mee is one of China's most popular green teas. This type of tea is more on the acidic side and less sweet then other similar green teas.
Japan discovered tea from the Chinese from a Buddhist monk's travels to China. Japan has a strong belief is tea ceremonies and traditions. A popular tea in Japan is Matcha Green Tea due to the ceremonial practices involved.
India is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China. Assam tea and Darjeeling tea are the most desirable in this region. The cultivation and brewing of tea in India has a long history of applications in traditional systems of medicine and for consumption. Today, India is one of the largest tea producers in the world, with over 70% of the tea being consumed within India itself. The Indian tea industry has grown to own many global tea brands, and has evolved to one of the most technologically equipped tea industries in the world.
The United States often serve tea in restaurants using a machine-made or brewed by the cup with tea bags. The USA is well known for iced tea, instant tea and tea bags. Most tea has been influenced from Europe and China.
Darjeeling tea is a well recognized tea in Nepal. This type of tea is known for its aroma and fruity taste. Another notable tea is the Orthodox and CTC teas. Orthodox tea refers to a hand rolling process and CTC tea is the opposite; rolled with machines. Orthodox tea is generally known for being more nuanced and complex than CTC tea. All whole-leaf tea is made with orthodox production methods.
Rooibos is usually grown in a small area in the region of the Western Cape. To create the tea the leaves are oxidized and then processed. It carries a malty and slightly grassy flavor. In South Africa, it is common to prepare rooibos tea in the same manner as black tea and add milk and sugar to taste. Several coffee shops in South Africa have recently begun to sell red espresso, which is concentrated rooibos served and presented in the style of ordinary espresso.
In Egypt, tea is the national drink of choice.Tea is called "shai". Green tea is a newer product but not as popular. Egyptian tea comes in two varieties: Koshary and Saiidi. Koshary tea, popular in Lower Egypt, is prepared using the traditional method of steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it set for a few minutes. It is almost always sweetened with cane sugar and is often flavored with fresh mint.
Brazil is the land on infused teas made by the indigenous cultures of the Amazon region. There is a folk knowledge in Brazil which says that Brazilians, mainly the urban ones, have a greater taste for using sugar in teas than in other cultures due to the lack of habit to unsweetened drinks. A popular infusion tea is called mate which is made from the leaves of the native yerba mate plant.
- Ryan Anderson