Nowadays, tea is the most popular drink in Iran, but it hasn’t always been the case. Coffee used to be the main drink, but trading wasn’t economical, and the shipping process was difficult due to countries that grew coffee was far from Iran. When trading coffee became impossible in the 1900s, tea plant was brought to Iran from India by an Iranian ambassador.
Tea became popular quickly among people and the demand increased rapidly. Since then, Iran has cultivated its tea in the Northern region of the country, right by the Caspian sea. The region produces one of the best teas in the world and covers a large part of Iran’s need for tea.
Persians love their tea with breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and sometimes even at 11 p.m. It is a customary aromatic drink to welcome the guests to one’s home. For Iranians drinking tea is like a ritual.
What makes Persian tea unique?
- Persian tea is always made with loose leaf black tea
- Since it is served in glass cups, you can see the color
- You can serve it dark or light depending on how much hot water you pour in your cup
Many Iranians prefer to have sugar/sugar cube with their tea because of the black tea’s bitterness. A saffron rock candy(called Nabat) is also dissolved in tea before drinking.
The main spices that makeup tea are cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and pepper. Some tea drinkers have been known to add cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel, or anise to black tea.
Black tea benefits and calories
Black tea contains a significant number of antioxidants that fight Oxidation, which is known to cause many problems in the body. Tea is a refreshing and non-intoxicating drink. It calms you down after work. Black tea reduces blood sugar and decreases the risk of stroke. Every 100g of black tea has 20g of caffeine and two calories.
The Persian way of making tea
You need a nice teapot, loose black tea, and the spices according to your taste.
Place a large amount of loose tea and the spice you want into the teapot and add boiling water.
Put the lid back and put the teapot on the kettle while simmering on the heat for about 15-20m to be brewed and ready for serving.