Tea Time Around the World3 min read
When it comes to drinks, tea is one of the most popular in the world — and there are tons of reasons why so many people love it. For one, it’s good for your health. Tea can ease your digestive system, lower your risk of cancer and disease, and help you wind down at the end of the day (Sleepytime Tea, anyone?). “Having tea” is also a fun way to hang out with friends, family, or even simply meet new people as you take part in local traditions.
One of the coolest things about tea is that it showcases some of the best plants and trees unique to the part of the world it comes from. The result? All different kinds of teas and ways to drink them.
Here are some of the most popular teas you can enjoy around the world:
England – When it’s time for your afternoon tea, you’ll want to try a cup of Earl Grey Tea with milk and sugar. Earl Grey tea is known for it’s citrus-y taste. While tea is enjoyed at any time of the day in England, be sure to participate in ‘Afternoon Tea’ or ‘High Tea’ which is the designated part of the day to drink tea and snack on light fare. It can take place at any time between 2:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, so this is a particularly great tradition if you love a 3:00 p.m. pick-me-up.
Japan – In Japan, Green Tea is the beverage to try. While some varieties have a bolder grassy, herbal flavor, green tea is beloved for its tremendous health benefits. Filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins, green tea has also been found to lower cholesterol and reduce chances of diabetes and heart disease.
South America – Yerba Mate isn’t technically a tea, but it commonly falls under the tea umbrella since it’s prepared similarly to regular tea. It is made from seeping the dry leaves of the Yerba plant in really hot water. Yerba Mate is a traditional drink that has an herbal taste similar to Green Tea. Since it contains higher levels of caffeine than most other teas, it’s often used as a healthier alternative to drinking coffee. Yerba is also considered a social drink in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, as locals will drink it from a hollow gourd with a metal straw.
Taiwan – Bubble Tea is a Taiwanese favorite (and mine as well!). You may have noticed this smoothie-type of drink has been gaining popularity in the United States lately, but still have no idea what it is. Bubble tea can be prepared in two different ways: tea mixed with fruit (or fruit syrup) or milk. It can also be blended with ice like a smoothie, or enjoyed hot like a regular cup of tea. The differentiating part about bubble tea is the tapioca pearls at the bottom. While there are many varieties of bubble tea, the most popular in Taiwan are bubble milk tea with tapioca and bubble milk green tea with tapioca.
China – Black tea, which generally has a stronger flavor than other types, is the traditional drink of China; it’s enjoyed with light meals or as part of a social event or ceremony. If you’re visiting China, prepare to enjoy a cup of black tea every day, and be sure to stop by a teahouse, where you might be able to take part in a special tea brewing ceremony.
What’s your favorite tea? Where’s your favorite place to drink it?