Chile consumes 2.7 lb of tea per capita per year.
The nation replaced Yerba Mate popular in their neighboring country Argentina with tea at the beginning of the 20th century.
Chileans turned the British tea afternoon into a fourth meal of the day and are the 8th nation in the world for tea consumption.
History of Tea in Chile
As in many other parts of the world, the Brits have brought tea to Chilean costs as well.
The most imported were Ceylon teas, which are the most consumed by the locals.
In the 1800s, the Brits developed a custom of tea drinking at 11 a.m. which was widely accepted by Chileans.
The tea ritual is called ‘la once’ (once means eleven in Spanish) and this phrase is still used today.
Over time, the local population started embracing new flavors and aromas, eliminating the Yerba Mate tradition and adopting Sri Lankan tea flavors.
The country started producing its own Ceylon tea in 2015, yet merchants are still importing large amounts of tea from overseas.
Tea Culture in Chile
‘La once’ is the iconic tea ritual of Chilean people, happening every day at 11 a.m.
It’s a break from work and a way of energy-boosting for the rest of the day.
As the most notorious bread consumers of Latin America, Chileans must have bread with their tea, usually rolled-style bread accompanied with butter, jam, cheese, and scrambled eggs.
An avocado toast is another superstar snack that Chileans enjoy with their tea.
Some people have ‘la once’ in the afternoon as a replacement for dinner while others only serve this meal on special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, and various family gatherings.