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During cold Polish winter there is no beverage more popular than hot tea. In fact, any time of the year is good for tea in Poland, not only winter. Also, at a typical Polish family reunion/party you would drink black tea with sugar and lemon before, during, after or between the meals. For Poles no time is bad time for a cup of tea!
Tea drinking appeared in our country during the reign of King Jan Kazimierz, thanks to his wife Maria Ludwika Gonzaga. She began the habit of drinking tea in the royal court. At first, tea was introduced to pharmacies (as a medicament) just to become an everyday drink before long.
Nowadays, tea (herbata) is the most popular, non – alcoholic drink in Poland. Just ask my husband! – he has been offered tea at least 5 times a day during our visits to Poland. It’s automatically served with breakfast, with lunch, with dessert after lunch, in the afternoon and with the dinner…and with the dessert after dinner!!! Yes! And a lot of times it will be served in a tea cup made out of glass! (just like on the picture below)
I have to say that after 15 years together he finally is starting enjoying the cup of tea once in a while:)
Although the tea market in Poland remains highly traditional and black tea is the most popular option for consumers, there are signs of a shift in consumption habits. As a result, black tea is slowly losing its leading position as green, herbal and fruit teas continue to develop with consumers keen to try new tastes, types and blends.
With as many as three quarters of Polish consumers enjoying different tea flavours, sales of herbal and speciality tea are moving out from specialised health shops and drugstores and into mass retailers. Indeed, over three in five consumers use herbal teas for their functional benefits. Tea is also seen as a good alternative to having alcohol on a night in by a majority of consumers, reflecting its status as a national drink.
For all of you who like something a little stronger there is herbata z prądem!
Herbata z prądem literally means tea with electricity and thanks to its origins is also referred to as mountain tea. It is a simple drink made of tea and alcohol with an optional addition of sugar and lemon. The most popular version is made of rum but any liqueur or vodka will do. It’s the perfect drink after a day of hiking or skiing or to be used as a medicine if you are feeling ill. Hey, alcohol kills bacteria so why not try it?
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