Some may have mistaken India, and its spices, for the crown jewel of the British Empire, but we would argue that it was rather the tea of Sri Lanka that Britons valued more. The types grown in the central regions of the island nation are: Ceylon Black, Ceylon Green and the highly-prized Ceylon White. Production of the latter is limited to the hundreds of kilograms and is a rare pleasure. If you're ever lucky enough to get yourself a few leaves save them for a special occasion: a graduation tea date or a pre-wedding cup of tea. To explore the under appreciated central regions of Sri Lank visit Tea Trails.
The ritual of tea-drinking is an integral part of Japanese culture so you'll have to approach a tea date in Japan with a bit more formality than your average cafe date. Chanoyu (or sado) is the traditional ritual of preparing and drinking matcha - the powdered green tea favoured in the land of the rising sun. A proper tea ceremony takes up to four hours and involves a meal bracketed by two sessions of tea-drinking. Wherever you go in Japan you'll find a teahouse nearby, but for the in-depth experience Hotel Okura in Tokyo (other hotels offer a similar service) is the perfect place to sample this meditative exercise in tea-drinking.
You would think that the best liquid to combat the stifling heat of a Moroccan day would be cold, but locals will tell you that nothing beats a foaming cup of Toureg Tea - a type of mint tea. Like matcha above, preparing the drink is an event worth savouring almost as much as the tea itself. The routine involves two rounds of boiling, with tea leaves and then sugar, and ends with a long pour from the pot to give the tea its characteristic frothiness. Some like to put a tea leaf in their cup before drinking, but leaving it in too long will upset your stomach. Preparation of the tea is done by the head of the family, but in other settings anyone can prepare the tea. Visitors to Morocco looking for the luxury experience may want to stop in at The Repose - a luxury Moroccan hotel, with a lovely traditional riad (courtyard) for their afternoon tea's.