Tea with its antioxidants and immune boosting properties is not only nutritionally regenerative, but its external properties are restorative as well. One of the only Far Eastern traditions to find a real home in Western civilization, tea rituals are shared world wide. Tea, and the rituals surrounding it, bridges the gap between many different peoples around the world. Regardless of different cultures and lifestyles, tea serves as a universal touchstone.
In the East, it’s at the very core of life, whether in an Egyptian café or a Chinese village. Tea is the drink that helps business associates finalize a deal. It is the drink over which secrets can be shared. It soothes the mind, body and spirit and reaches across generations.
In the West, tea is still frequently regarded as the drink of royalty. In France, though tea’s still not commonplace, it’s rapidly gaining in popularity. In the UK, however, tea is woven into the fabric of their culture with the ritual of high tea being a time-honored tradition.
In Morocco, mint tea is used to welcome visitors and is a generally accepted sign of hospitality in the region. In Japan, tea is enmeshed into the whole experience of Zen. All elements of the tea ceremony translate into the culture from architecture to calligraphy to landscaping and flower arrangement.
The English echo this pattern with their tea as they enjoy their formal tea gardens that are ordered and harmonious. Whether simple or elegant, these gardens complete the bonding aesthetic that tea offers to all who imbibe.
The United States striking its independent blow with the Boston Tea Party has long since left the grudge behind, and enjoys tea as a part of daily ritual. Just as in the East, deals are sealed over a cup of tea and just as in the West, tea is enjoyed as an afternoon respite.
Tea brings people together. It reaches across oceans as well as across generations, and where people otherwise cannot connect there seems to be a way for even the most stubborn to be able to meet over a teacup.