Tea ceremony in Uzbekistan
Have you heard about the famous Uzbek hospitality? Probably Yes. Now you definitely need to feel it, sitting in the company of the closest people to you at a tea party, for example, in a teahouse. You will not feel this anywhere better than in Uzbekistan. Trust us! And in this article we will show you why.
This truly magical drink has been known since the time of the great silk Road, when merchants began to distribute it around the countries as an expensive commodity. The birthplace of tea is considered to be China, where it was learned about in the 3rd Millennium BC. And it happened by accident. According to legend, the Chinese Emperor ordered him to bring water, and on the way to the water fell a leaf from a tea tree. The servant was about to pour out the water again, but the Emperor, after tasting it, was surprised that it had acquired a different color and taste. It also gave him strength. After that, this drink was called “cha”, which means “young leaf” in Chinese.
In Uzbekistan, tea drinking has a special meaning and is considered almost the main ritual in every family, which is observed every day. In Uzbekistan, people drink mainly green tea (Kok Choi), in addition to a pleasant taste, it has medicinal properties, contributes to the normalization of blood pressure and a surge of energy. And if you suffer from low blood pressure, then you should try red tea, which in Uzbekistan is called “black” (Kora Choi) and is consumed mainly in the capital. Not a single event, not a single ritual, and what can I say, not a single day passes without a tea party for an Uzbek! The tea ceremony is so well-established in the everyday life of Uzbek people that many do not even realize that they perform a whole ritual, brewing hot fresh tea in the morning, at lunch and in the evening (and each time fresh! By no means stagnant). To brew tea, you need a certain water temperature of 95-100⁰C, pour it over the tea leaves so that the water covers them (just a little water), then leave for 5 minutes to infuse them, and then fill half of the kettle (necessarily ceramic with a lid), and after 2-3 minutes fill the kettle, but not to the brim. When serving tea, special rules are also observed, which can not be ignored. First, the first thing is served on the table hot tea. If your table is decorated with various dishes and bursting with Goodies, but tea is not served, it is considered disrespectful to the guest. Secondly, it is poured either by the daughter-in-law or the mistress of the house in the company of women, and in the company of men it is poured either by the owner or the youngest among them. Tea is poured into special ceramic bowls, they bring one more bowl than the number of guests. And this is done in order to make “kaitar” (translated from Uzbek “return”). Tea is poured into a bowl, and then pour it back, and so 3 times, in order to mix the tea in this way, so that it is better brewed. So, the kaitar is made, then the bowl is served with the right hand, and the left is held slightly by the elbow. And pour the tea just a little, 2-3 SIPS, but no more. This is considered one of the main signs of respect when serving tea. First, this way the guest will more often turn to the host for tea and thus the host will more often show respect to his guest by pouring him tea. Secondly, it is easier for the guest to drink, since the tea cools faster, but at the same time the tea in his bowl is always fresh.
There are several ways to brew tea. One of them, which is currently used, we have described above. But before the tea leaves were thrown into the water and it was boiled together with them, sometimes throwing the leaves of both green tea and black tea. There is also a very unusual tea drink that you would compare with the English traditions of tea drinking. And that’s all because they add milk to the tea. But do not confuse it, in England they add sugar to milk tea, while in Uzbekistan they add salt, a little fat, aromatic and slightly spicy spices. This tea came to us from our nomadic neighbors, where this drink is considered very tasty, high-calorie and nutritious, so it is a valuable source of energy, and it is called OK-Choi (white tea).
Arriving in Uzbekistan, we will arrange unforgettable excursions to real Eastern tea houses, where you will be shown and taught the ritual of Uzbek tea drinking. And you, sitting on a tapchan with a bowl of fragrant tea, will plunge into the atmosphere of life of the Uzbek people. You will also have a unique opportunity to try several different types of delicious tea, which is served with delicious Eastern sweets, which you can learn more about in our article on them. We promise that your trip will be magical, and the aroma of tea will be an elegant reminder of your colorful journey through Uzbekistan.