China: Having introduced the world to tea, China is the perfect place to supply quality tea from Nepal. For Chinese people, tea is very much a way of life. The country's diverse climate creates literally hundreds of different types of tea; Oolong, Jasmine and Gunpowder are some of the more familiar teas, but how about Huangshan Moafeng? Legend states that this variety of green tea plant grew from the tears of a young girl who lost her lover the day before their wedding. “Cha Doa” refers to the art of making tea and is closely linked to Daoism and Chinese philosophies of balance, harmony, fulfilment and enjoyment.
Japan: Japan is home to popular teahouses where Matcha is served. Matcha is prepared in the same way today as it was in the 12th century, and is essentially dried to the point where it can be ground in to a fine, bright green powder to then made in to a drink. The tea is sometimes used as the basis of a traditional Japanese ceremony called Chado (“Way of tea”), the ceremony is a spiritual experience where the host may spend a lot of time preparing for all the correct gestures and movements required.
Japan produces around 89,000 tonnes of mostly green tea in the regions of Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Uji. Tea has enormous cultural significance in Japan; it's their most popular drink and is central to tea ceremonies. Today Japan's most popular tea exports are Green Sencha and Green Matcha however most of what is produced is Japan is actually consumed domestically.
India: The national drink of India is called Chai, which is a black tea infused with flavours of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom and cloves. It has been popular for centuries and is the first thing offered to any guests. Chai sellers and vendors (known as Chaiwallahs) are a staple of the community, with their stalls which line the streets being a centre for gossip and news amongst the locals.
Thailand: Thailand is perhaps best known for delicious Thai iced tea, or ‘cha-yen”. It's a drink which has become popular in Thai restaurants around the world and is made from strongly brewed black tea served over ice. Various aromatic flavours and spices are added including orange blossom, cinnamon, star anise and ground tamarind. The drink is sweet and floral, with a liquorice aroma. Cha-yen is perfect in blisteringly hot weather, or as an accompaniment to equally hot food!
Britain: You can't talk about the world of tea and not mention Britain! Tea is as synonymous with British culture as fish and chips, cricket and the royal family. From dainty afternoon teashops selling earl grey and scones, to a hearty builder's brew at a greasy spoon, people can't live without their favorite hot beverage. Its popularity has remained since the Victorian era, and shows no sign of wavering, with over 160 million cups being drunk in the UK every day.
USA: Being the second largest importer and having increased love for healthy tea, USA consumers are open to pay a higher price given rising disposable incomes and the fact that it is fashionable to consume more sophisticated teas within niche markets. Black teas sold in the United States are mostly sourced from Sri Lanka and India as regional or single estate origins for the specialty sector as well as in some blends created either at origin or in the U.S. Specialty green teas mostly come from China or Taiwan, with the top qualities originating in Japan. The specialty tea market in the U.S. places a premium on high quality long leaf teas with limited annual production and manufactured using orthodox methods. These teas typically include black, green, oolong, and white teas from small tea producing regions or estates. These teas are also referred to as Premium Teas or Gourmet Teas.
How tea is relished around the world
Although the world appears to tilt towards coffee in the tea versus coffee debate, tea has a residual charm that doesn't let its followers sway. More than just a beverage, tea is an emotion and a solid binding agent that brings people together. Where coffee is guzzled to kickstart oneself for work, tea demands peaceful solace.
Have a look at how tea is relished in myriad cultures around the world.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Tea has been an integral part of Buddhist religious practice since the 10th century when it was introduced to Japan by a monk named Eichū. The Japanese tea ceremony is a sacramental tradition that has always been a central part of the Japanese household. It involves calmly preparing green tea and having it in the tearoom with a tatami floor. The Japanese tea culture includes cast-iron jugs that are used to heat water. The strong-flavoured green tea is known to invigorate the senses. Kyoto and Uji are the best destinations in Japan for visitors to partake in this enthralling ceremony.
Since its arrival in the 16th century, tea has managed to flow into every aspect of the Turkish way of life. Prepared in a double jug, Turkish tea is served in tulip-shaped cups and is widely loved for its sweet-earthy flavour.
The Chinese were the first to brew leaves of an aromatic plant, that is, tea. They initially used tea for medicinal purposes before they started consuming it as a beverage. It is now their definition of life. The Chinese were enjoying tea thousands of years before the rest of the world even heard of it. They call the art of making tea Cha Dao, something that was borrowed by Japan about 2,000 years later. China has the largest variety of teas, which resulted in centuries of experimenting with flavours born from flowers like jasmine, chrysanthemum and even fruits like lychee. The white tea, oolong varieties and black tea are what China is known best for.
The British way of tea is usually associated with a thick air of sophistication with its roots deep in aristocracy. The Brits were introduced to tea by the Dutch in the 1600s and haven't stopped pouring themselves more ever since. The tea in Britain is different flavours of black tea from different places blended together. The Duchess of Bedford was the one who came up with the Afternoon Tea ritual to energize herself midday since there were only two meals back then-breakfast and dinner. This daily ritual gradually started including a number of people and turned into somewhat of a party. The Afternoon Tea fever slowly spread to the commoners, who began enjoying high tea in the evenings. It was called ‘high' tea because of the height of the tables that were used by the commoners.