Tea is a popular non-alcoholic drink that’s enjoyed by people all over the world. It comes from different notable tea producing countries, and if you’re a tea lover, you should visit these countries once in your life. We will soon explore 4 countries every tea lover needs to visit.
Tea contains antioxidants that cleanse your body and is a great coffee alternative. Its health benefits, the way it can help with depression, along with its satisfying aroma and taste, make it a powerhouse for morning and afternoon drinks.
4 Countries Every Tea Lover Needs to Visit
In Japan, tea is the most popular beverage and is commonly enjoyed by people there. Whether its green tea in a bag of green tea that is loose-leaf, this type of tea is the most popular flavor in Japan. They also consume other types of tea. Japan is probably best known for its tea ceremony practices among the tea producing countries making it one of the largest tea lover countries.
History of Teas in Japan
Tea wasn’t naturally grown in Japan. China introduced it during the 700s. During this era, tea was a luxury in Japan. Tea was only available to priests and noblemen to be used for medicine.
It was only during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333) that Japan learned the custom of making tea through powdered tea leaves and grow it. Tea was introduced by Eisai, who was the founder of Japanese Zen Buddhism, and tea cultivation eventually spread throughout Japan.
It was only during the Muromachi Period (1333-1573) that tea gained popularity in all social classes in Japan. It was in this period that tea drinking parties were popularized. The Japanese would drink a cup of tea and pass it around. They would guess the name of the tea and the place where it was grown.
Another form of the tea party would grow, where fewer people participated. This small intimate tea party focuses on etiquette and spirituality.
Teas in Japan
There are many types of teas being grown and consumed in Japan. Some of them you may know, but others are uniquely tied to Japan. The wide variety of tea is why Japan is one of the world’s top tea producing countries.
- Ryokucha – Ryokucha is also known as green tea. There are three grades of green tea quality in Japan, and they are gyokuro, which is the highest grade, sencha, and bancha. Gyokuro is the first green tea harvested and is subjected to less sunlight while the bancha is the latest to be harvested.
- Matcha – Matcha is also called powdered green tea. It is the tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony, and only tea from the highest quality leaves are used for making Matcha tea.
- Konacha – Konacha is known as residual green tea. It came from the leftover tea leaves, tea dust, and tea buds from gyokuro and sencha. It is considered a low-quality tea and can be found available in inexpensive sushi restaurants in Japan.
- Hojicha – Hojicha is roasted green tea, which has a sweet, caramel-like scent to it.
- Genmaicha – Genmaicha comes from genmai, which is unpolished, brown rice in Japan. Genmaicha is a popular alternative for green tea.
- Oolongcha – Oolongcha is made from oxidized tea leaves, which are then roasted or steamed to stop the oxidization. Its popularly served hot and cold in Japan.
- Kocha – Kocha is also known as black tea, but the word “kocha” actually means red tea in Japan. Kocha is mostly seen in western-style cafes and tea shops.
- Jasmine-cha – Jasmine-cha is mostly popular in the Okinawa region. It comes from jasmine flowers combined with green tea or oolong tea.
Popular Tea Places in Japan
You can almost find tea anywhere in Japan. They even sell it on vending machines. You can find them in various cafes, restaurants, convenience stores, and supermarkets.
They’re also found in temples and gardens and are usually drink by tourists as part of a tourist experience of a Japanese tea ceremony. If you want to see tea cultivation in one of the countries that produce tea, you can visit Shizuoka, Kagoshima, or Uji.
Moroccan Tea Life
Tea is part of Moroccan culture and history. They consume up to 3-10 cups daily. It’s an essential historical medicine in Moroccan culture. It’s trendy in Morocco, especially for people who can’t afford to use prescription medication or prefer herbal remedies.
When visiting a Moroccan home, you’re often greeted with a boiling kettle and served a hot green tea. Most people in Morocco prefer to have sugar in their tea, so be careful when drinking one if you’re not the type who drinks sweet stuff.
Types of Tea in Morocco
The most commonly found tea in Moroccan homes is green tea. They also have a unique tea called Berber tea. Berber tea is made from mixes of wild thyme, mint, lemongrass, geranium, sage, verbena, and wormwood. Depending on the season, the ingredients of a Berber tea can vary. Morocco is the only country among the tea producing nations that make Berber tea.
India is one of the largest countries that produce tea in the world. They’re also among the countries that consume tea the most.
Indian Tea History
Tea was initially consumed in India long before the English arrived. They use it for medicinal purposes and even drink it without sugar.
It was only when British colonists planted tea in India, most notably in Assam, India, that the British East India Company started large-scale production of tea. Assam was later on regarded as the leading tea producer in the world, placing India as one of the more popular tea producing countries.
Tea made from India then made its way to Britain and became famous. As tea became more accessible, it was no longer a luxury and was consumed by the working class.
Types of Teas in India
Four main types of tea are being produced in India. These are:
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- Oolong Tea
- White Tea
All of these teas are made from one tea plant called Camellia Sinensis. The only difference among them is how they’re being processed to become tea.
Among the unique teas found in India, Darjeeling tea and Assam tea are the most popular. Darjeeling tea can only be grown in Darjeeling, and Assam continues one of the top regions that produce tea. Visiting this in India, one of the top tea producing countries in the world, will be worthwhile for you as a tea lover.
Chinese Tea Culture and History
It’s said that the history of tea in China originated from Emperor Shennong. The water he drinks was always boiled for hygiene purposes. One day, when he was out visiting his land, his caravan stopped to rest then his servants were then asked to boil water for drinking.
By luck of chance, dried leaves fell into the boiling water and changed its color. The emperor, overcome with curiosity, drank some, and that’s how tea was created according to Chinese legend.
Tea has been a part of Chinese culture. Chinese drink tea as an accompaniment when studying philosophy, ethics, and morality. They also associate it with the environment and music.
Different Types of Tea in China
China is the largest tea exporter country in 2018, responsible for 23% of the world’s total tea exports. China produces many types of tea, but these are the significant classes of tea they produce:
- Green tea
- Yellow tea
- White tea
- Oolong tea
- Black tea
- Dark tea
- Pu’er tea
Pu’er tea probably sounds strange to you, but it’s the same as dark tea. It originated from Yunnan province. It’s known for its distinct features and can only be grown in selected areas of Yunnan.
If you want to visit the tea-producing country of China, you should start in Hangzhou as it is the most well-known green tea producing province in China. Try visiting also the Yunnan province and Hunan province, which also produces tea.
If you’re a tea lover, these four tea producing countries are the ones you should visit. They have a rich culture and history of tea, and still to this day leads in the production of tea, visiting one of these tea producing countries and enjoying their tea culture once in your life will be worthwhile.