Tea has been around for centuries, if not millennia. From Japanese tea ceremonies to British afternoon tea, having and celebrating this drink is a great cultural activity to enjoy with friends and company. If you want to experience tea and its long history, here’s how and where to do so.
Afternoon tea ceremonies from England
The idea of afternoon tea was common among the high society of England. During the long break between meals (usually from midmorning until late at night), people would get hungry. So while waiting for supper, they’d enjoy small delicacies, snacks and tea. The simplest form of afternoon tea is cream tea (a meal of tea, scones and cream). If you add more sweets (such as cakes and other pastries), you would have a light tea. The elaborate tea time we usually think of is called full tea, which is light tea that is also served with savory sandwiches.
If you want to enjoy these delicacies, here are a couple of places to check out!
The Tearoom (Oakland)
This cute tearoom is perfect when you want to sit down with friends and enjoy some great tea and pastries. It features a huge variety of delicacies ready to be enjoyed with a full-on tea service. It’s a really great place to host birthday parties or small get-togethers.
Lovejoy’s Tea Room (San Francisco)
The interior of this tearoom really makes you feel like you’re in England. The antique paintings on the wall and the huge collection of teacups give off a very cozy, warm feeling, and the pastries and tea are amazing. Its assortment of different tea services are very famous.
Traditional tea ceremonies from Asia
Tea ceremonies are considered to be a meditative ritual in many traditionally Buddhist countries in Asia. The ways it’s brewed, poured and consumed are all symbolic of life’s meanings. In Chinese tea culture, preparing and consuming tea can be a sign of respect or a gesture of apology, gratitude or celebration. On the other hand, Japanese tea culture has a very extensive procedure that represents respect and history.
If you want to enjoy some Asian tearooms, here a couple of places!
Japanese Tea Garden (San Francisco)
Not only can you enjoy some amazing and authentic tea at the Japanese Tea Garden, but it’s also a huge tourist attraction. The garden is breathtakingly beautiful, and the teahouse right in the middle of the garden is absolutely irresistible. You can enjoy Japanese tea along with some Japanese snacks.
Far Leaves Tea (Berkeley)
The aroma of this teahouse right as you step foot inside is extremely therapeutic. The Asian elements to the tearoom’s interior, tea and food give it uniqueness and beauty. If you want a diverse pool of Asian-style teas to choose from, Far Leaves Tea is the place to go.
Tea is enjoyed in very different ways in countries all around the world. The unique rituals and ceremonies carry different symbolic meanings for everyone. If you love tea and its culture and history, make sure to check out these tearooms and teahouses!
Contact Christina Kim at [email protected]lycal.org.