By Fernando Avila Herrera
Tea is one of the most ancient drinks that humans have on the menu. It can be simply prepared with a plant and water, however, in some places it is more than that, more than a tradition, it is a way of daily life.
Can you think about 5 types of tea? …I give you three of your five answers: the most popular teas around the world are green tea, black tea and chai tea, all are from Asia countries, and speaking about population and ritual importance, they are mainly drunk in Japan, China and India, respectively. However, most of Asian countries drink tea as part of daily life. Although there are an uncountable number of teas, they can be prepared with almost any part of a three from the bottom to the top, for example, roots (ginger), leaves (green tea), cortex (cinnamon) or fruits (strawberry).
I would like to give you some few curiosities about discovering the flavor and tradition of tea:
In Asia tea is like water, it is usually free of cost when you go to a restaurant and is always available in the house of your friends.
Now let me ask you something? Do you add sugar when you drink tea? Now, try to remove the sugar and drink again, that is the normal way of drinking tea in Asia. Tea is drunk because of the remarkable health benefits, so sugar is not added. Tea is on the table after any meal and it is usually found in vending machines or even in fast food restaurants such as McDonalds!
Particularly, in Japan there are three types of famous teas: Ryokucha (Green Tea, with green color) and Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea, with brown color) and Matcha (powdered green tea, intense green color). As you see, all are based on Green Tea!
Green tea and Ojicha are the ones served in restaurants and vending machines. Matcha is very popular too and found in ice creams, matcha latte (which is very very tasty), cakes and traditional sweets. Next time ask for one ice cream or matcha latte, you will definitely have no regrets.
Tradition of preparing tea is also a thing to think about. In Japan, it is good manners to drink tea after closing a business agreement, after being married, and in many important events as part of a gesture of formality.
On the other hand, in western countries such as England, there is the hour of tea, as seen in Alice in Wonderland. There, tea is usually accompanied with milk. This milk tea presents a good combination and soft flavor. So, tradition exists is western as well.
For most tea lovers, I would recommend having these teas in the kitchen. And if you are looking for something more special, I would recommend matcha, since it has many useful ways of preparation, not only as a drink but also served as a dessert combination.