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How would you like to take your tea? Posted by on Apr 26, 2021 in Culture, Language

What do Iranians and Brits have in common? Both nations love tea!

Now, let’s be more specific! I’m not an expert in British culture but I can tell you how Iranians like to prepare their tea “chai چای , drink it, and a lot more.

Tea in Iranian culture is more than just a beverage. It is a lifestyle. If you hang out with an Iranian, whether at work, their house, or in a picnic, it won’t take long until they would propose the idea of having some tea!

The most common type of tea consumed in Iran is cardamom black tea. The brewed black tea is often served with “sugar cubes” ghand قند, which you can place between your teeth, then sip the tea and let the sugar dissolve immediately. Iranians find this a convenient way to drink multiple cups of tea, especially when the weather is cold. You may use other sweets and pastries, or drink your tea just like your coffee –  black. Think of a good cup of tea as a good cup of coffee; the higher the concentration of caffeine, the better.

There is not a set time for drinking tea. Iranians like to have their tea with breakfast, after lunch, after their afternoon nap, or even at 10:00 p.m. The sound of popping the “kettle”,  ketri  کتری is the most magical sound in Iranian households and brings people together. Tea is served hot at almost all social occasions and family gatherings. The color of Iranian tea is dark red and the taste is fairly light. It is also delicious without even adding any milk or sugar.

The traditional device for brewing tea is called samovar سماور, which originates from Russia and the tradition adapted from Russian tea culture by the Persian empire. Iranians usually turn on their Samovars each day in the morning and put a “teapot” ghoori قوری on top of it and they won’t turn it off until the day ends.

One of the popular versions of black tea is called Chaii Shirin “sweat tea” چایی شیرین, which is a favorite for breakfast. چایی شیرین consists of black tea and sugar and when you stir the tea, you will have Chaii Shirin!

 

There are many “tea houses” chai khaane چایخانه throughout Iran where you can drink different flavors of tea. A typical چایخانه offers “beds” takhts تخت  or low-rise platforms covered in Persian rugs and pillows that you may relax on.

چایخانه can face a river, mountains, a natural scenery, or walls often painted with Iranian classical epic stories such as شاهنامه.

 

Visitors can enjoy a unique perspective and painted imaginary scenes using epics and religion as the main themes of artwork drawn on the walls while they drink their tea.

Stay tuned to hear more about this style of painting in Iran in my future blogs.

 

How would you like to take your tea? Please share and comment below.

Vocabulary

چای

قند

کتری

قوری

سماور

چایی شیرین

چایخانه

تخت

شاهنامه

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