A Blended Aroma


What makes tea so special among different cultures?

Are you a Lipton tea or Nestea drinker, maybe prefer green tea over black, or just that sweet mint tea over a fruiter taste of tea bags.

I have noticed that tea drinkers have a certain culture all their own.  I was recently standing in the aisle at the grocery store looking at their selection of teas, when a woman began asking me if certain types were good. She was looking for a peppermint tea in a bag. This will often occur to me while just standing and observing all the variety of teas on the shelf that a conversation will take place on the choices and aromas of tea.

How does tea and culture relate to one another?

Let’s take a short journey around the world (no passport required) and explore some of the customs in different cultures.

In our American tea culture, afternoon tea is rarely served or unheard of, except of course in special occasions probably a tea party or meeting someone for an afternoon out at a high end hotel or a tea house. Personally, I prefer ordering Lipton ice tea with some lemons of course and don’t forget the sugar.

Could you  leave the pitcher at the table too?

 In North America, tea is consumed and served cold in many places around especially during those hot weather temperatures. Hot tea is most likely common to be consumed in the colder weather, some people will add milk to taste and lemon. If when visiting different parts of the U.S.A  enjoy hot tea or just simply ask for iced tea.

In the Asian culture, tea grew natuarally in China and later came to Japan through intercultural trade and exchange. In China, the original homeland of tea, a cup of  Oolong tea( is a traditional Chinese type of tea somewhere in between green and black) the customary way to welcome a guest. In fact, if tea is not offered immediately by the host, it is clear that he is being either intentionally or absent-mindedly rude.

Irish breakfast tea anyone? I have an Irish colleague and she shared with me that in Ireland people consume a lot of tea. The custom is to add the milk to the tea cup first, then pour in the tea.  Irish would enjoy tea all day long. Even during the traditional Irish wake, after a family member has passed away, it’s expected that a pot would be continuously boiling to make tea for company.


Morocco, a North African country just south of Spain. The national drink is mint tea. Moroccan mint tea seems to be everywhere at the same time and it brings you a feeling of hospitality. It is served at restaurants, homes, weddings and practically forced on you. Not that you want to turn it down. Teatime is quite relaxing and the way it is served will vary from person to person.  Usually the tea is poured into a glass from a meter high to create a foam from the sugar and the person serving it will express polite inquires into your health and well-being. Believe me such a technique is not something you master in two shakes.




Finally, the British and their set time for for tea in the afternoon is a ritual that dates back to the queen during the Victorian era. The teapot, cream jug, sugar bowls and all that antique gleaming silver dishes accompanied by the pastries set on the table. Sounds like a fashionable custom.

Finally, anyone can enjoy tea in their own way. Invite some friends over, set the table with your prettiest teapot and utensils, and splurge on cakes and English scones. Teatime is a wonderful way to enjoy the company of friends while sipping a favorite blend, any time at all.



8 responses to this post.

  1. Assalaamu’alaykum,

    Mashaa Allaah, that is some new information 🙂

    I am Chinese, although am not from China (my grandfather was). It is customary to have Chinese tea at mealtimes, especially if it’s a fried/oily dish – tea is supposed to help break down the oil! We do not take green tea (which is Japanese) but take tea which consists of browned leaves – with many different names such as Oolong, Siu Yuet Kam, Kouk Po, etc etc… which have different tastes and aroma!


  2. As Salaamu ALaikum Sis:

    Thank you for adding more to the culture of teas. I enjoy tasting all kinds of tea. Insh’Allah, next time I will look for those names that you just mentioned.

    Jazak Allahu Khair


  3. Wow that’s amazing girl you’re sooo… on a roll I love these entries!!! Keep them UP!!!! Luv them, I learn something new when I read them who knew about all those great details about tea and its role in culture. Awesome just Awesome!!!! Jazak Allah Khairan. Hugs 😉


  4. I am a Grandpa’s Tea drinker. I say to you why:
    There are big tea lands my hometown and big factories and shops for making them dry and sell them. I know when they pick leafs, how they do, how they mak dry and bla bla. My grandpa has a big tea shop there. I never buy tea in Tehran. I always take tea from his Shop! So i am Grandpa’s Tea drinker 😀


  5. Posted by UmAbdurrahman, "Blanca" on August 8, 2007 at 12:09 am

    As Salaamu Alaikum Sis Shahrzad:

    Mash’Allah, I was curious to know about tea in Tehran. Do they drink it really strong or is it sweet? Are they served in small cups? I love tea.

    Thanks for your input


  6. Not Tehran. I live in Tehran but my hometown is Lahijan, a city in north of Iran near Caspian sea. Lahijan is the only city in Iran that have Tea lands.
    We drink it sweet or just natural. Good think about Lahijan tea that they dont add chemical things into it. Color and smell and taste are all natural. I used to drink my tea in big mug. I am addicted to tea lol
    But for guests we serve it in small glassy cups. 🙂


  7. Posted by UmAbdurrahman, "Blanca" on August 8, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Jazak Allahu Khair Sis:

    I have always been intrigued by other cultures. Sounds like a real delicious beverage the way you have described. I might add that it also unique by the way you describe preparing the leaves.

    This is a skill.

    Thanks for sharing!!


  8. Posted by adikbongsu on August 8, 2007 at 5:21 am

    Salam ‘alaik sister,

    great post 🙂

    this is one way to exchange info about other cultures and share it. I drink tea but not always. The same with Rayhana, most Chinese in Singapore too drink tea after meals. Especially after big feast of fried foods. 🙂


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