Iranian Tea Culture

Iranian Tea Culture

Iranians consume around 5 lb of tea per capita per year, which makes them one of the top tea drinkers worldwide.

The preferred tea of this Middle East nation is Black tea. They drink it in the morning, during and after each meal, and before going to bed.

History of Iranian Tea

Persia (today’s Iran) was an enormous empire and the bridge for trading goods between China and Europe.

The first tea that reached Persian soil was Green tea in the 16th century via the famous Silk Road.

The tea-drinking tradition rapidly replaced coffee rituals in the Qaveh Khaneh (popular coffee houses in Iran).

People started enjoying a warm cup of tea much more than coffee, especially with their first encounters with the highly-caffeinated Black tea.

Tea Culture in Iran

Today, after many centuries, Black tea remains the favorite choice of Iranian people.

Furthermore, the Qaveh Khaneh are still as popular as in the old times, they still have the same name, although the main beverage served nowadays is tea.

These cozy and warm venues are a melting pot of different generations of people from various backgrounds.

Here you can find anyone from college students enjoying a cup of tea to elderly businessmen planning on a new project.

Black tea in teahouses is always stronger than the one prepared at home, and it is never served with milk.

Cha-ee Iranian Tea

Iranians call their tea Cha-ee. It is usually an Indian Black tea or Sri Lankan Black tea.

Heavily influenced by Russian tea tradition, Iranians brew their tea in a samovar, but with a design adapted to their own culture.

Stirring sugar cubes in the tea is a big NO-NO in Iran. What they do is pour the tea over the sugar cubes or dip the cubes in the tea and then hold them between the teeth.

Sweet Cha-ee tea is only consumed during breakfast, otherwise, they drink it strong and plain.

They also use a Ketri (water kettle) to warm up the water and then pour it into a teapot with loose-leaf tea.

Cardamom, saffron, and dry rose petals are a common addition to the homemade Cha-ee.

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