Different types of tea cultivation in the world, the art of tea


What makes the earth turn and the days pass? Tea, of course, a drink that unites and brings people all over the world together. And it’s more than just a drink. Over the past 2,000 years, the wild eastern Himalayan Camellia sinensis plant has conquered and dominated the planet.

The drink has changed cultures and people’s way of life. It has greatly contributed to cultural exchanges and trade between continents, it has even been a factor of internationalization and above all, it has improved human health. Tea has simply changed the way we live. Although tea has its roots in China, today we have different types of tea cultivation on all continents.

In the article below, we learn some interesting facts about the art of the tea tradition in all corners of the world …


Chinese Cha Dao

It was in China that tea was first consumed. And no other country has such a long tea culture. For Chinese people, tea is the definition of life. For the rest of the world, it took several thousand years to catch up. The country has the largest variety of teas, flavored or not. Cha Dao is a term describing the art of making tea, something Japan learned from China as a valuable addition to its culture.

A big difference between the Chinese and other types of tea culture is that here one can find high quality tea at a good price. The variation in flavors that has arisen in this country has been motivated by curiosity. In China, they like to add jasmine flowers, chrysanthemums and, for example, lychee fruit to their tea. One of the most consumed teas in China today is white tea, the popular oolong tea varieties, black tea, among others, which have maintained their popularity for thousands of years.

The Japanese way of drinking tea

Photo, Mae Mu.

The Japanese way of drinking tea

It took around 2,000 years from the time people started drinking tea in China before the tea made it to Japan. It was a monk named Eichū who brought tea to Japan in the 10th century. Tea went hand in hand with Buddhist religious practice.

It was mainly the nobility and other dignitaries who drank it. However, it made the tea popular among ordinary people. Today, Japan has a rich tea culture which is characterized by cast iron jugs to heat water and very strong green tea to invigorate the senses.

Nowadays, Japan has a thriving tea tradition that revolves around the consumption of green tea. By far the most common type of tea in the Japanese archipelago is called sencha, which means “steamed tea”.

Another Japanese specialty is matcha, a type of powdered green tea, which is used for the tea ceremony. Essentially, a tea ceremony in Japan is about achieving harmony by drinking tea together through a series of symbolic acts, to be present and focused on what is happening and what you are going through.

Depending on which tea ceremony in Japan you visit, they will all look a bit different. However, overall, they all have common rules. A Japanese tea ceremony is an exciting experience that you will not forget. And it is also an important part of the culture of the country.

The art of tea cultivation in different corners of the world

Photo, Matt Seymour.

British afternoon tea

The British drink tea several times a day. But traditional afternoon tea is a big part of its culture. The most common type is English Breakfast Tea, which is a robust black tea with a strong taste that pairs well with sugar and milk. The tea is a blend of different black teas from several regions and countries and the blend may vary from producer to producer.

The most common blends contain Assam tea from India, Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, tea from Kenya and if it is a little more exclusive tea, it may also contain Keemun from China. In the UK there is even a tea association where you can view general statistics on UK tea consumption.

Turkish tea time

If you are planning to visit Turkey, you will surely notice how central tea is to Turkish culture. In Turkey, you can see people of all ages drinking tea. It is not only for breakfast but also at work meetings, in parks, in the streets, practically everywhere. The drink has been extremely important to the country since it debuted in the 16th century.

But it took a few more centuries before it consolidated its position as a national drink. At the end of the 19th century, this hot drink began to be consumed in large quantities by the population. And today it is bigger than ever, not only for the social life but also for the economy of the country, and it is not so strange considering the large quantities bought daily in all the stores.

Turkish tea is not served the same way we are used to. This is what makes the different types of tea cultivation so interesting. The drink is prepared in a special double pitcher. In it, water is boiled in one part of the jug, and the tea itself is poured into the other part. Usually the tea is drunk in very small tulip shaped glasses with large amounts of sugar.

Russian zavarka

Photo, Evgeni Tcherkasski.

Russian zavarka

Russians not only have a great love for vodka but also for a hot cup of tea. An important feature of Russian tea culture is zavarka, which is a concentrated tea infusion specially made for the Russian tea ceremony. This tea concentrate is usually brewed in a small hot teapot called a samovar. Zavarka is served in tea cups or in a glass with a metal stand, diluted with hot water to suit personal taste. It is a long Russian tradition to serve tea from a samovar after dinner. This is when the samovar is put on the dinner table and the whole family gathers for tea.

Farewell thoughts

Food and drink go hand in hand. The cuisine of different countries varies endlessly with different flavors and cooking methods. It is also very interesting to examine the drinking culture of different countries as it says almost as much about a country as the food. And tea is definitely the drink that deeply connects countries and people around the world.

After reading about the different types of tea cultivation in the world, it can be concluded that tea is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the culture of many countries for good reasons.

From China where it was first discovered to the rest of the world, tea has proven its influence in providing health benefits. Also serving as a crucial part of social events. This inspired many cultures to create formal tea ceremonies that have persisted for centuries.


About Oscar L. Smith

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