Tea Drinking Traditions Around the World
Dropping a link to our blog post on Tea Drinking Traditions Around the World! which comes in 2 parts.
Just curious, what kind of tea traditions do you know of, heard of, or practice yourself?
We believe tea is one of those things that almost every culture has in common, and people can always get together over a cup of tea no matter the cultural barriers.
America did not historically have much of a tea tradition after about 1776. Since tea had to be obtained from the British it became popular to drink coffee instead. For most of the 20th century the only tea available to Americans were what was available in supermarkets, cheap bag teas like Lipton. Only recently has something of a tea tradition become popular in the United States. Their are now a lot of US vendors to get good tea from and of course the Internet has opened up tea direct from China, Japan, and India. There was a US retailer that was doing a lot to promote tea drinking in this country even if most tea enthusiasts think their teas were a little sub par, Teavana. They could be found in malls all over America and were slowly helping to change the tea traditions in this country. That is until Starbucks, the coffee company who owned them shut them down. They did not have the best tea but it was usually at least decent. Their herbal blends were often quite good. But they are no more. There have cropped up also in the last twenty years a number of small independent shops that sell various grades of tea and often branch out into the internet. Despite this availability I would say that 80% of tea drinkers in this country still get their tea from a supermarket. A few independent supermarkets have added decent tea selections to their coffee selections too. A store named Fairway on Long Island and in I think Manhattan has a reasonable selection of loose tea. The big chains still don’t get it and just offer Lipton and such.
Thanks for sharing the information! I did not know this about Teavana. But it is great to see how rapidly [quality loose leaf] tea drinking culture is developing in the US! Many people enjoy tea, even though Lipton, and many wish to explore further but do not know where to start. This is the reason why companies like us are here :)
My own ritual is that I have to have my cup of tea in the late morning around 10-11 am. If not, I will feel unsatisfied for the rest of my day. Eating with tea is a big NO-NO in my book. I always take my tea 1-2 hours after meal. Also I hate to drink tea in a rush. I prefer to drink tea alone, in solitude, surrounded by nature, savor every moment and every sip. Just focus on tea and let my mind wander. I like to meditate while drinking.
Completely agree with you on starting the morning with some tea. It is a ritual of its own and not be be skipped.
Drinking tea in a rush feels like the equivalent of not letting it fully open itself to you. If I ever drink tea in a rush I end up feeling like I wasn’t able to take everything I could from it. Almost like ordering a dish but ending up eating only some of the ingredients, never really getting the full experience or the intention behind its taste.
If you give it time, a tea can share so much with you. Tea drinking is a meditation practice of its own!
Thank you for sharing :)