Chai, Shaah, Suutei Tsai.. The list of variations for tea names all over the world can go on. The drink which unites us all is consumed in different flavors, tastes and recipes, leaving only one’s love for the beverage as a common factor. Let’s explore how the world consumes its favorite beverage, in different ways and names.
The spicy Thai tea, better known as Cha Yen is a common accompaniment to Thai cuisine. This iced milk tea is made from red tea and various spices like anise, green cardamom, orange blossoms, cloves, cinnamon, and ground tamarind, leaving a burning aftertaste in your mouth, much like Thai cuisine itself.
The serving of Ocha is a traditional social custom in Japan. Ocha is served using the matcha, finely powdered green tea served in traditional Japanese teacups. Ocha is highly revered as a drink in Japan as the drink has a long history of being associated with Japanese royal culture.
Cay, the most popular Turkish black tea is served with every meal and is a highly common drink. Cay is drunk without milk and is served with or without sugar once it has been brewed in a two-chamber pot.
Given Tibet’s weather and the country’s fascination with Yak milk products, Po Cha is a combination of tea, salt and Yak butter. Po Cha is brewed for several hours to make it bitter in taste before it is churned with butter and salt. Perfect for Tibet’s weather conditions, Po Cha is a favorite among explorers and monks.
Morocco has a long and interesting tea culture and Shay Bil Nana is the most common type of tea drunk in the country. Prepared with spearmint leaves steeped in Green tea, Shay Bil Nana is a must during social ceremonies and welcoming guests.
Known as chai, Russian tea is brewed using several types of black tea leaves separately before they are mixed in a cup. Russia uses a multi-chamber pot, one for brewing and another one for water. Given the country’s extreme winters, chai is quite a popular hot beverage.
The birthplace of the beverage, China has uncountable numbers of tea variations, flavors and recipes. Known as Cha in the local language, Pu-erh cha is the commonest and most loved by the Chinese. This yellow leaf tea is packaged in bricks, crumbled into the cup and steeped in boiling water.
Suutei Tsai as tea is known in Mongolia is a salty variation of the beverage. A pinch of salt is put during brewing of the tea and served in shallow metal bowls with most meals. History says that Suutei Tsai dates back to the mid 13th century when neither juice nor wine was readily available in Mongolia.
The British tradition of tea drinking is well known globally. Builder’s tea is an interesting variation of the beverage in which the tea is strengthened with lots of milk and two teaspoons of sugar. The name comes from the drink’s association with the working class.
With such interesting names, interesting recipes and intriguing histories, tea as a beverage has truly transcended global borders and made its mark in folklores and drinking habits all over the world.