Tea: A Staple In Every Culture
Tea makes an appearance all around the world!
Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Russian, Moroccan, Egyptian, Turkish, English, and French traditions all incorporate tea into their daily lifestyles.
Tea in China was considered to be a medicinal staple before it became a beverage that was consumed daily. Tea was a health tonic that promoted a healthy life and offered individuals a powerful sense of vitality. Teahouses in China became places where community members would come in and socialize with one another, which is why tea seems to find itself in the corners of any moment—there really is never an inconvenient time for a cup of tea.
Japanese Tea Ceremonies
In Japan, tea was perfected with the Japanese tea ceremony, which was significantly influenced by monks and samurai warriors alike. The importance of remaining humble, appreciating the uniqueness of each moment, and finding the art of simplicity and balance within all facets of life were at the center of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Tea in India gained popularity when the British began growing larger and larger tea plantations in India to make sure there was never a lack of tea back at home. Specifically, chai (or cha-ya) is a sweet and creamy (and spicy!) beverage that is enjoyed on the colorful streets among street vendors or near train stations or in the comfort of one’s home.
In Russia, tea made an appearance on the backs of camels when travelers were transporting their tea exports from China and distributing them throughout the world. The samovar—a staple in Russian hospitality—became popular in creating hot beverages to entertain (and warm up) visiting guests.
Afternoon tea in England and tea in addition to a pastry or a croissant at an outdoor cafe in France can’t be forgotten when imagining what role tea played in the world and the yesteryears of the past. As it continues to play a major role in both global cultures and our own culture in the context of today, tea won’t soon be forgotten...of that we’re certain.