When we think about drinking tea, we might not immediately consider this beverage as a source for a ritual. In our fast paced lives, grabbing a to go cup at a drive thru might be what we consider a habit rather than a ritual.
However, tea has been central to rituals for millennia.
Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Ceremony is a wonderful ritual and if you ever get an invitation or opportunity to witness this ceremony I encourage you to accept.
Tea served: Green Tea
Traditionally, a tea ceremony would take place within a space that is dedicated to this ancient art form. The space would have a small entrance way. This small entrance was to ensure that anyone entering could not carry a weapon or sword into the sacred space. All swords would be left outside, along with outdoor shoes.
Leaving the outside world at the door creates a sacred space from the moment one would arrive.
Turkey and Tea
Tea served: Black Tea
Turkey has the highest consumption of tea, per capita in the world. Not only is Turkey a key exporter of tea, they also manage to enjoy tea in many social gatherings. As part of the Turkish Culture, tea is served everywhere. Tea is served in small hourglass shaped glass cups, Each town and village will have a number of tea houses packed with people playing backgammon and enjoying tea.
Tea Served: Black Tea with milk or lemon.
In Britain, it is a common joke that if a friend arrives with something to share, the first thing that happens is the kettle is filled with water and tea is made. Unlike the formal "afternoon tea", this impromptu gathering will be shared over tea served in mis-matched mugs and biscuits (cookies).
The most common tea served in the UK is black tea with milk or lemon.