We're confident when we say that tea makes everything better. It brings people together, it calms us down, it peps us up, it makes a crisis less of a crisis - plus it’s the perfect accompaniment to a nice pack of chocolate hobnobs. Given that it's now the second most drunk beverage in the world after water, we reckon a few of you might just feel the same.
We love the fact that tea is drunk in all sorts of ways across the globe. So, we thought we'd share 10 tea drinking traditions from around the world. Be sure to read each one - this has got pub quiz material written ALL over it.
We’re a nation of tea drinkers and get through 160 million cups a day (not too shabby…). A little history for you; in the mid-18th century, tea replaced gin to claim the title of Britain’s favourite drink. But we say, why not enjoy the best of both worlds and add a little tipple to your tea? Tea and booze might seem like a questionable combo, but when it’s done right, it can be a healthier alternative to a sugary cocktails. Super fruit and gin is our go to pairing! Summer’s nearly here, after all. For more tea with a twist inspiration, check out our blog here.
Did you know that New York was the birthplace of the teabag? Way back in 1908, a tea merchant inadvertently invented it when he wrapped up his tea samples in silk bags to help keep them safe in transit. Thinking this was the hip new New Yorker way to enjoy a brew, his customers popped it straight in their cup. And the rest is, well, history!
Mint tea is a staple of Moroccan hospitality. If you’re jetting off there on your summer holiday then be sure to accept if you’re lucky enough to be offered a cup by a local – refusing it is seen as very rude. So take a 5 minutes to sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet, minty goodness.
When in Iran, do as the locals do and pop a sugar cube in your mouth before taking a sip of hot tea – definitely one for anyone with a sweet tooth to try.
Pantyhose milk! “Errr... what?” we hear you ask. Yep, Hong Kong offers this amazingly nicknamed beverage – a mixture of black tea and condensed milk that has been passed through a sackcloth bag, which just so happens to resemble ladies’ hosiery.
Tea in Russia is traditionally made in a samovar – a type of urn used to boil water that has a teapot filled with tea concentrate on the top. They can be huge, elaborately designed and pretty impressive.
In Tibet, butter tea is the drink of choice. Tea churned with yak’s butter and salt may not be to everyone’s taste, but it gives just the right amount of energy to cope with life in the Himalayas.
The locals here have an entirely different way to enjoy tea. They pickle the leaves to create lahpet. Nope, it doesn't come in a mug - think more tea leaf salad. Interesting stuff!
Siberia used solid blocks of tea as currency until the 19th century. Not sure how that would go down in your local supermarket today!
Two words: bubble tea. Thank you Taiwan, we are forever grateful!
And there we have it – let’s raise a mug (or cup, glass, saucer… whichever you prefer) to the humble little tea leaf; we can’t (and refuse to) imagine a world without it.
How do you like to drink your tea? Let us know below, or tweet us @teapigs.