International Tea Day

Posted by The Open Page | 15th December 2017

International Tea Day
International Tea Day is observed annually on December 15. It has been celebrated since 2005 in tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania. In 2015, the Indian government proposed expanding the observance of International Tea Day through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. International Tea Day aims to draw global attention of governments and citizens to the impact of the global tea trade on workers and growers, and has been linked to requests for price supports and fair trade. As we are celebrating this international fete, let’s enjoy a cup of this aromatic beverage from some corners of the world.
We start with the country of long, inviting beaches and a variety of spices – Morocco. The Moroccan people being as unique as they are, have the tradition of serving their mix of mint, green tea leaves and a generous amount of sugar called the Touareg tea, three times to the guests. Each time the flavor varies slightly but the high to slim delicate glasses and the alluring texture of the tea makes it hard to refuse either of these servings! 
Coming to the second largest producer of tea in the world, India, known for its colors, traditions, and culture is also very famous for its masala chai. For Indians chai is not just a mixture of black tea leaves with some spices like cinnamon or ginger, for them it is the fuel of life, it is the medicine for someone’s headache or the brew which binds India together. Chai is the quintessential element to every Indian family, their mornings start with a sip of chai in their living rooms to have a lively chai talk, it involves all the topics be it politics or their children failing an exam! Going on the streets of this beautiful country, we find vendors called chai wallahs selling this luscious brew in clay cups made from local earth. The earthly smell of this beverage makes it the national drink of India.
Moving on to the largest producer of tea in the world, china. China being the country of pride and discipline have a very systematic and gradual process. Guests are invited to smell the leaves before brewing. This is just the first of many steps, along with warming the cups with a wash of the tea's first brew. The second is drinking, and the tea will be ideally be poured by arranging the cups in a circle, pouring from high in one continuous motion, around and around until each cup is full. Guests are expected to cradle the cup—and its accompanying saucer if there is one—in two hands, to sip slowly and savor the flavor, and then cradle the empty cup to relish in the aroma after the tea is gone. This traditional tea ceremony is called Gongfu tea. It is very strong and filled with love.
Let’s end this journey with a sip of Malaysia’s teh Tarik. This brew contains black tea, sugar, and condensed milk. This beverage is famous for its distinctly frothy texture which is very hard to achieve. Malaysian brewers pour the beverage back and forth between mugs, giving the liquid repeated access to cool air as it flows from one glass to another. As this tradition developed, so too did the showmanship of its making. To watch tehtarik being mixed is to witness an elaborate and energetic dance, where the brew behaves as a partner, leaping to and fro without a drop ever being lost!
Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings because tea just makes everything better!
-Shivangi Dasgupta
Young Reporter's Club

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