Tibetan Butter Tea – While most people may not associate butter with tea, the high, cold altitudes of the Himalayas have given rise to the high-fat, energy-boosting tradition of butter tea, or Po cha. Ideal for both keeping you warm and cleansing your body, the tea is made with pu-erh tea cakes that are crumbled into hot water and boiled for several hours.
Indian Chai – India is the world’s largest producer and the largest consumer of tea. The sweet milky chai is practically a national drink. While tea is certainly a part of everyday life in India, it never developed into elaborate rituals lie in China or Japan. Tea stalls are dotted across Indian streets, and the chai wallahs prepare black tea with milk, sugar, and spices such as cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, and cloves.
Attaya: The African Tea Ceremony – In West Africa, the tea ceremony goes by the name ‘attaya’, and is anything but formal. In fact, tea culture in the continent’s western nations of Gambia, Mauritania, and Senegal are the polar opposite of Japan’s ceremonies. Every attaya consists of three rounds of tea drinking. The first stage is bitter, representing the difficulties of growing and early life; the second stage is sweeter, representing mid-life, love, and family, and the third stage is the sweetest to symbolize the sweetness of old age.
Japanese Tea Ceremony – Heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism, the elaborate traditional Japanese chanoyu tea ceremony involves ritualized preparation, presentation, and consumption of tea. Matcha powder, made of ground green tea leaves, is used to brew a frothy, ethereal tea.