Tea rituals

Tea is a worldly drink, it is one of the oldest and most popular drinks across the world. Although people drink tea across the world, the way the tea is served varies per country. In this section you will find out how people drink tea, from China to England to the Netherlands.

According to ancient written record, before the 8th century Chinese tea preparation involved many detailed steps. Tea leaves were first steamed, then broken, and made into a loaf through the addition of different ingredients. This loaf was then seasoned, toasted on fire, and ground between fine paper sheets. The Chinese then boiled salted water, adding the loaf and a spoonful of cold water before waiting for the particles to settle. Once complete, they poured the drink into cups and flavoured it with milk and onions. The customs have changed over time and nowadays the Chinese use modern boiling techniques.

China drawing

Green tea drinking has significant traditions in Japan. Tea ceremony is a lively custom performed by geishas - the descendants of the old tea masters. The geishas learn the exact course of a tea ceremony in special schools. For the ceremony, they use tea powder, which they beat up with hot water until it foams. They use a precious bowl and a bamboo beater for this purpose. The Japanese never sweeten or flavour their tea, but eat teacakes instead. 

The tea is infused with a mixture made from one-third milk and two-thirds water, boiled with sugar. The tea is then stands for five minutes, then strained through muslin and poured into cups. In some areas, white tea becomes flavoured with seeds and is served with sweets.

According to century long tradition, Russians use samovars for making teas. Samovars are large decorated containers, traditionally used for making tea. First, Russians pour condensed tea previously prepared and kept warm in a dish on the top of the samovar into a cup. To dilute the tea to the required thickness, they use the boiling water from the samovar.

Europeans begin with a spoonful of tea per every cup desired. Loose tea or a teabag is added to a pot with boiling water and is left to infuse for 4-6 minutes, releasing its flavour. The tea is then poured into cups, using a strainer to catch loose tea.
In England tea is sweetened with sugar or honey and often flavoured with milk, rum, or lemon. Sometimes, even jam is added!
The Hungarians usually sweeten their tea with sugar or honey and often add extra flavour with lemon, rum or occasionally wine.
The Dutch enjoy strong tea, sometimes adding sugar or milk.

 The Netherlands

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