by Emeric Harney September 25, 2018 3 min read

One of our favorite things about tea is its rich history and the cultural significance it holds in cities around the world. While we may speak different languages and observe different customs, tea is oftentimes one of the things that binds us. We love traveling to understand the language of tea and the role it plays in the lives of those who live thousands of miles away from where we call home.

Morocco-Tea-Traditions

Morocco

Poured from high above into a slim, delicate glass, Touareg is the tea of choice in Morocco. The tea is served three times to guests, the flavor varying slightly each time. According to an ancient proverb, "The first glass is as gentle as life, the second is as strong as love, the third is as bitter as death."

Tibet

In the cold climates of Tibet, a brick of  black tea is boiled for hours before it is combined with milk, salt, and yak butter to create Po Cha, a comforting, soup-like beverage. Drinking up to 60 cups a day, Tibetans use tea to stay warm as they live and work in the lofty Himalayan mountains.

India

India’s most popular tea,  chai, is sold by street vendors called chai wallahs in small clay cups. Many Indians believe that the dust from these clay cups is a crucial ingredient in this national drink. We recently visited India to learn more about this unique tea. Watch  this short video to follow us on our journey.

India-Tea-Traditions

Argentina

Called “the drink of the gods,”  yerba mate is prepared in a dried calabaza gourd and drunk through a straining straw called a bombilla. The drink is passed around at gatherings to help attendees bond. Refusing the drink or stirring the bombilla is considered to be very rude as it questions the brewing abilities of your host.

China

In China, lengthy tea ceremonies, or Gongfu Teas, are held at gatherings to show respect to guests and at weddings as a way of thanking parents for years of love and care. During Gongfu Tea a larger emphasis is placed on the ceremony itself than the quality of tea, but traditionally only  Oolong and  Pu’erh teas are used.

Japan

Like the Chinese, the Japanese hold tea ceremonies using matcha tea. The lengthy process includes steps for preparing your home, how guests can enter your home, the order in which utensils are brought into a room, how these utensils are cleaned and warmed, the brewing, and the cleanup. These details can vary depending on the time of day and season.

Japan-tea-traditions

United Kingdom

Although tea has had a presence in England since the 17th century, it wasn’t until the 19th century when Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, started taking tea with cakes later in the afternoon that high tea gained popularity. Today, tea is an integral part of British life and identity.

Iran

Whether it’s served at home or at a tea house known as a chaikhaneh, tea is always carried in on a silver tray accompanied by a yellow rock candy called a nabat. It has such a constant presence in Iranian life that kettles are kept on the stove all day. Brewed strong, people often place a sugar cube between their teeth and suck the liquid through it to counteract the black tea’s bitterness.

Want to learn more about the history of tea and the history of Harney and Sons? Check out some of our favorite reads:

Emeric Harney
Emeric Harney


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Teafluencer: Hayley Solano
Teafluencer: Hayley Solano

by Emeric Harney November 21, 2019 6 min read

Our November Teafluencer is Hayley Solano, a social media strategist, content creator and singer-songwriter. Read about Hayley’s magical world. 

Read More
Milk in Tea
Milk in Tea

by Emeric Harney November 07, 2019 4 min read 9 Comments

Whether you take milk in your tea or not, discover the history of milky tea and learn about the long-standing debate of whether milk goes in the cup first or tea does. Read about milk teas around the world and discover recipes.
Read More
Tea Like the Brits
Tea Like the Brits

by Emeric Harney October 24, 2019 5 min read 5 Comments

Drink tea like the British monarchy with these tips on a beloved British tradition, the afternoon tea ceremony. Learn the history of this national institution and discover how you can create your very own.
Read More