In hot countries or cold regions, a cup of tea can comfort, calm and be a sign of hospitality. Enjoy different varieties and ways of preparing it.
The varieties of tea, from white to black, offer a wide range of options to find our favorite flavor. There are even options so low in theine that they are suitable for children.
The fan opens and unfolds all its richness if we also pay attention to other factors such as the different traditions when it comes to infusing that exist in each country: double teapots, “flowers” that open before our eyes.
The ways of treating the plant for drying are also very different: after harvesting, depending on the country, the leaves are toasted, smoked, separated by measurements…
And, of course, there are the different combinations: alone or with milk and sugar, with or without spices, mixed with aromatic herbs…
We propose a trip around the world through the ancient wisdom hidden in the different ways of drinking tea.
Chinese green tea
China is the largest producer of tea, and artisanal tea abounds.
The leaves are roasted on iron plates at around 100ºC to neutralize their enzymes and thus avoid the subsequent fermentation that characterizes black tea.
Once dry, the leaves are sieved by measurements. The smallest and most complete, which correspond to the upper shoots of each branch and are harvested separately, are the best quality and flavor.
The so-called “tea flowers” are formed with green or white tea leaves hand-tied with cotton thread.
When infused, they create the sensation of opening inside the cup.
The Lapsang Slouching is a black tea from Mount Wuyi in Fujian Province, smoked with smoke spruce root.
After harvesting, it is rolled up and left to ferment to finally dry in large containers under live fire.
This gives it an intense and surprising aroma, with a smoky aftertaste that not everyone likes.
It is highly appreciated in England, where it is usually eaten for breakfast or dinner, and it goes well even with savory dishes.
The water should not come to a boil because then the fragrance is lost. It can be cut with a little milk.
The tea culture has taken hold strongly in African countries, especially Egypt, where black tea produced in Kenya is consumed.
The so-called rooibos (not to be confused with “red tea” or purer) is becoming more and more fashionable. It has a stimulating flavor and lacks theine, as it is not a variety of tea but comes from a South African bush (Aspalathus linearis).
It is infused between 2 and 5 minutes, or between 5 and 6 if it contains other ingredients such as flowers, chocolate or fruit.
It can be taken hot or cold, with honey, sugar or lemon.
Moroccan green tea
The green tea with mint or perhaps peppermint tea if you stick to the proportions – is the signature drink of the Maghreb, where you take all the time, very sweet, like a gentle toning.
It is made with green tea, sugar and mint leaves, or mint in its absence, very fresh.
Heat the metal kettle with boiling water, remove it, and add a tablespoon of sugar per person, the tea, the mint and finally the water.
The tea is poured into a glass and returned to the kettle. Then it is poured again. In this way the mixture is better oxygenated.
Japanese green tea
Tea is rooted in Japanese culture and is drunk at all times, even with meals. It is always green.
- The Sencha is made with small sheets of high quality.
- The bank with older leaves of the last harvest and less theine.
- The Gyokuro is usually the variety more refined. With its leaves ground into a fine powder, the match a used in the tea ceremony is made.
- The genmaicha or “rice tea”(pictured) combines green tea, usually Bancha with roasted rice and inflation. The rice dampens the bitter taste. It is usually low in caffeine and is even offered to children.
In Kashmir, green tea is drunk with cardamom, a spice with a flavor between lemony and spicy.
To make it, the water is heated to 90 ºC and the kettle is warmed up with a little of that water, which is eliminated.
They are placed two teaspoonful’s, 4 or 5 capsules Green cardamom and the remaining water is poured. Let it rest and serve with the cardamom in the glass.
The classic chai, popular throughout India, is made by boiling sugar and spices, including cloves, cinnamon, pepper and cardamom.
At the end, add the black tea and a little milk to the saucepan.
Tea is the main Turkish drink. Black tea, grown on the east coast of the Black Sea, is consumed.
It is drunk strong, very hot, with sugar to taste and in small glasses.
A double metal kettle is used. In the upper one, 2-3 tablespoons of moistened tea are placed. In the lower one, water is boiled. The steam heats the kettle above. Boiling water is poured into it and more water is added to the bottom, so that it continues to boil.
When the leaves go down to the bottom, the glasses are filled halfway and water is added to taste from the lower kettle.
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