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Tea and Culture

February 04, 2015 MixedTea Staff

We know drinking tea has been an activity that humans have enjoyed for many centuries. Throughout the history various cultures have adopted and modified and tweaked drinking tea. Some variations include:

  • How tea is brewed
  • Cold or Hot
  • What tea is consumed with
  • What types of tea is consumed

In this blog entry we’ll try to highlight some of these differences, and we would love to hear from you on what are some of these differences as it applies to your culture and your background.

How Tea is Brewed

When you buy a package of tea (whether loose leaf or tea bags), such as the selection of teas from MixedTea, you are provided with a set of instructions on how to brew the tea. They typically involve brewing the tea in hot water for some set number of minutes. Matcha is an exception with a more involved method of preparation. We’ve noticed that various cultures deviate from this norm. For example, in middle east cultures it’s acceptable to brew the tea for an hour or longer, which produces a stronger and darker tea.

Hot or Cold

Despite the relatively rich history of tea in the world, the US is a late comer into this market. While iced tea is popular in many cultures, hot tea is more prevalent in other parts of the world. In the US it’s reversed. About 85% of the tea in the US is consumed as cold/iced tea. The trend is changing though, but 85% is still a significant percentage.

What do you have your tea with?

While most typical type of food that is consumed with tea is sweet, what those sweets are specifically vary greatly by culture. For example, in most of the middle eastern cultures people have their tea with a hard candy or hard sugar cube. For more special occasions the hard candy is replaced with more elaborate sweets, such as cake or pastries. In China and far east cultures, tea is consumed more as a regular beverage and not necessarily with sweets.

What types of tea do you consume?

We see a lot of variations of the types of tea that is consumed around the world. For example, majority of middle eastern cultures prefer to consume black tea or mixes of predominantly black teas. In the far east cultures green tea has a stronger presence, although in India most bases of tea mixes are black teas. In the US the iced tea flavors that have been popular so far have been primarily black tea based, although lately a lot more variations of green tea and flavored black teas are available.

Tell us how your culture enjoys this wonderful drink!

-- MixedTea team

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