FROM HEAVY TEA-DRINKING COUNTRIES
WRITTEN BY AISLING
While coffee may be popular in the Americas, tea is the preferred caffeinated beverage in most of Europe, Asia, and Australia.
There are rich tea cultures around the world, ready to be explored. Here are some fun facts from the heaviest tea-drinking countries.
It is estimated that the average Turk drinks 3.16kg/6.96lb of tea per year. In addition, Turkey is one of the top five tea-growing nations.
Traditional Turkish tea is made in a double-stacked teapot, called a çaydanlık. The tea leaves are steeped in the top half and the water is boiled in the bigger teapot underneath.
Turks traditionally drink black tea but apple tea was introduced later mostly for tourists. This tea is a concoction of sugar, citric acid, citrate, food essence, and vitamin C.
Ireland used to be the biggest tea-drinking country in the world, but Turkey surpassed it in the late 1990’s. On average Irish people drink 4.83 lb/2.19 kg each per year
When Ireland stopped getting its tea from the UK, they looked to India and Sri Lanka. Now, the Irish Breakfast tea is a mixture of the Indian Assam tea, and Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka.
It’s considered polite to decline tea up to 2 times before accepting. But once you do, expect to be served traditional Irish tea with a malty flavor thanks to the Assam leaves.
Afternoon tea started in the 19th century when the duchess of Bedford, noticed she often felt hungry before dinner time. Till today, afternoon tea remains a custom.
The British tolerate tea bags, but the ideal cup is made with loose leaf tea. And the water for the tea is made with boiled water from a kettle, rather than heated in the microwave.
In the UK black tea is the only “real cup of tea”. The perfect accompaniment to their tea is a digestive biscuit. This is then dunked in the tea.
Iran began drinking tea in the 16th century, long before Europe. The Persians originally drank tea for its medicinal properties & not for its taste.
Traditional Persian tea is served in a samovar. The Samovar means “self-boiler” and keeps water hot due to a fuel-filled pipe in the middle that heats the water.
Traditional Iranian tea is chai tea, a creamy mixture of black tea, sugar, and spice. When sweetening their tea, they use a rock candy called a Nabat.
If you found it fascinating to learn how tea can be prepared, served, and consumed in different countries, visit Drink Filtered for more