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Herbal tea culture across the world- everything you need to know!

herbal tea culture across the world

Herbal tea is a drink that connects conversations, people and cultures. Infact, the world of tea is vast; global trade is valued at $9.5 billion.

For tea lovers and producers, that figure alone is just one primary indicator of its worldwide popularity. With herbal tea, there are so many blends to choose from, and it’s hard to quantify precisely how many exist.

But, one thing you should know is that every tea has its charm and a distinct taste, aesthetic, and brewing process. 

What’s even more unique is the culture and the drinking styles that exist in the world of tea.

Go beyond the surface level with us and learn more about different tea etiquettes today.

What is the history of herbal tea?

If we’re to dive back in time to pinpoint the history of herbal tea, its origins date back to ancient China. It’s believed that a Chinese emperor of the Han dynasty, Shen Nong, discovered it by accident in 2737 BC. 

During his downtime, this emperor was renowned for experimenting with leaves, herbs, and spices to create unique flavours. There’s a story that suggests Nong was sitting under a tree, and leaves blew under his hot water, changing the colour and taste of the water. 

This serendipitous discovery led to the birth of what we now know as “breakfast tea.” During the reign of the Han dynasty, tea was not just a beverage but also a potent ancient medicine used to treat various ailments, a tradition that continues today. 

The Silk Road, a historic trade route that linked China with Arabia, Persia, and the West, served as the conduit for the global spread of tea. By the time tea arrived in Europe in the 16th century and Britain in the 17th, it had already established itself as a popular beverage, enjoyed in homes and coffee houses alike. This marked the beginning of its journey towards global popularity.

The introduction of tea bags in the 1970s made tea consumption even more popular, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, its popularity expanded again. Many people worldwide switched to herbal tea due to its perceived health benefits. 

Tea culture around the world 

For just a few seconds, consider how you drink your tea.

Do you have a specific brewing process?

A preference for flavour?

Or a particular time of day you drink it? 

The truth is in the world of tea, there are different ways to brew, serve and consume. 

To give you an idea, here are some insights into tea culture across the world from different countries:


In China, people love to sip tea with their friends and family. They serve tea in small 3-inch open teapots, with tea leaves and hot water poured in. The pot is left open intentionally so guests can see the brewing process, providing an immersive experience. Once a minute passes, tea is poured into a gaiwan (a small jug), which is then poured into tiny tea cups.

In some regions of China, customers at restaurants often use tea to rinse their utensils and bowls before use. 

China’s most popular types: Green, lemongrass, flower, oolong, white, and yellow. 


After China, India is the second largest exporter of tea worldwide, even their national drink is tea! Well, Chai. What’s unique about India is that its tea culture is centered around drinking tea in the home and amongst street vendors (chaiwalas), a common place locals flock to gossip. Chai is a staple drink produced by boiling tea leaves, water, milk, and masala (spices) such as cardamom, ginger, pepper, and cloves. 

Like China, Indians see tea as a medicinal drink and use natural herbs to make teas with ingredients from Ayurvedic medicine, one of the world’s oldest healthcare systems. 

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest alternative medicine systems and is still popular in India. It’s not unusual for many Indian nationals to use ayurvedic herbs to make their teas. Many Indian kitchens extract spices such as tulsi, pepper, liquorice, mint, and cardamom. Often, they mix them together to create flavourful blends full of health-boosting benefits.

Liquorice & Cinnamon Tea Turmeric & Cinnamon Tea

Try this: Sip our tasty teas that hold natural and Ayurvedic ingredients similar to those in India.

Enjoy a warm punch with our Liquorice & Cinnamon and Turmeric & Cinnamon teas.


In many countries, herbal teas are used in ceremonies and feasts. In Southern Africa, a popular herbal tea known as Rooibos is consumed. This mild red tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Whereas a tea made from hibiscus known as bisap is a local favourite in the western and northern parts of the continent. In Morocco, mint tea (Maghreb) is regularly drunk and traditionally prepared by the eldest male of each family. It’s usually prepared in three rounds, which signifies life, love, and death.


In Turkey, they love their tea a lot. They regularly consume it from when they first wake to right before they sleep. The main herbal tea drank in Turkey is çay, a slightly bitter yet sweet black tea. When brewing, they don’t cut the leaves finely to keep the aroma intact. Tea in Turkey is drunk in small glasses (ince belli) with a slim waist, like a tulip shape. 


When you think of Italy, espresso, macchiato, caffè latte, and more probably come to your mind—basically, coffee. One beverage that is probably the last of them all is… tea! Ironically, Italians love to drink chamomile tea—it’s actually the most popular herbal tea in Italy. Many drink it to help support their sleep and as a natural remedy for illnesses. 

Chamomile & Valerian Tea

Try this: Relax, unwind and regain clarity like Italians with a cup of Chamomile & Valerian tea.


Tea is a go-to drink in the U.K., casually and at semi-formal events. Usually, tea is brewed in a mug and only sometimes in a teapot. A black tea bag is typically steeped in hot water, and milk or sugar is added. Alongside black tea, many herbal teas are now on the rise, with nation favourites being peppermint and fruit tea. 

Raspberry Leaf & Peppermint Tea

Try this: Join the rest of the U.K. and see what the hype is about with our delicious Raspberry Leaf & Peppermint tea.

Tea culture across the world -our thoughts

Overall, there’s an abundance of herbal teas to choose from in the world of tea. Many countries have different drinking styles and preferences towards their consumption. Take, for example, India and China; many residents believe there are medicinal benefits linked to them. 

In contrast, on the African continent, tea is used as a drink for ceremonies and festivities. Whereas Turkey and Britain drink a lot of tea from morning to evening. These are just a few countries and continents we’ve covered today; there are many more out there to choose from!

Inspired by different tea culture across the world? Why don’t you create your own drinking ritual with our flagship teas?

Browse them here and let us know your favourite way to drink them!



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