Tommy Gunns finds that Southeast Asian countries put refreshing spins on the traditional cup of tea.
Approximately 200 years ago Taiwan began growing tea bushes. The tea plant thrived in the environment and today the island predominately produces oolongs, but green and black teas are harvested too.
Taiwan – Home of the bubble tea. Bubble tea was created in the 80’s and is a mixture of tea, flavorings, milk, and chewy tapioca balls. It is also called boba or pearl tea. Here is a link to a previous post about this drink: http://bit.ly/KxRuCZ.
Thailand – Thai Tea is a blend of black tea with spices, sugar, and evaporated and/or sweetened condensed milk. Tommy's favorite is iced, but it may be served hot as well. Cha Manao is another popular tea drink from Thailand. It is similar to Thai Iced Tea, but made with lime juice instead of milk.
Malaysia - Tea known as Teh Tarik, or ‘Malaysian Pulled Tea’ contains black tea and evaporated milk. Malaysians have made an art out of pouring tea back and forth between two containers, until it becomes well mixed and frothy. They have pouring contests where competitors never spill a drop. Here is a short clip showing some tea pouring talent: http://bit.ly/KgtBL9.
There isn't a lot of information available about this region, so if you have something to add, please let Tommy Gunns know. Pictures are welcome.
A great read about regional tea types is the New Tea Companion by Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson: http://bit.ly/M21zZ5.
Life’s toiling, the water’s boiling, drink more tea!