Tea is the first thing to be served on a platter when the guests arrive and chances are, you will not go wrong with it. Ever since the British introduced this hot and fragrant beverage, it has been a rage across the subcontinent. However, it has undergone massive changes since that time. Over the years, we have added milk, introduced spices and lots of sugar to evolve our tea and make it significantly different from its British or Chinese counterparts. Throughout the world, there are many refreshing ways to drink tea.
Here are some of them, which may well be a deserved break from plain tea:
A Maghrebi tea, popularly known as the Moroccan tea, is a sign of friendship and hospitality. It is much more than a light-coloured drink in Libya and Morocco. Prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar minus the milk, it is both sweet and refreshing, and also a perfect drink for intolerable summers. You could easily substitute the sugar with honey to get virtually the same taste without the calories.
Extremely popular across the globe for it’s unique flavour, this tea is often served with Thai or Vietnamese food in American or European restaurants. It comprises a strongly brewed red tea with anise and other spices. It is strongly flavoured, and sometimes even makes use of red and yellow food colouring, but is definitely worth a try.
By this time, all of us have at least heard about Green tea at some point of our lives, if not tried it. We are aware of its enormous health benefits. But in Japan, it is served in an elaborate tea ceremony known as the Matcha Ceremony, which also makes use of a more concentrated version of green tea. You could make simple green tea at home, without milk or sugar, and perhaps add a bit of honey to give yourself a break from tea.
Tea and Vodka are perhaps the two most popular competitors in Russia. This version gets its name from the Samovar, a traditional tea kettle of Russia. It is essentially a strongly brewed black tea concentrate, called Zavarka, made by steeping tea leaves in boiling water for at least fifteen minutes. The Zavarka is then mixed with strawberry jam in some versions to give it a tangy taste, before being combined with milk and sweetener. It takes patience to make it, but once a large pot of the Zavarka has been made, it takes seconds to compile several glasses of fresh tea.
This goes to show you that tea, in its myriad forms and tastes, has been accepted and cherished all across the world as easily as it has found its place in Indian kitchens. In fact, for most of these recipes, you don’t even need that special touch. All you need is a single, or at the most a few different ingredients than what you would use in a regular Chai. So go ahead and try out these international recipes for a truly global beverage that you cannot spend your day without.
Author : Deepannita Misra