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Explore Azerbaijani tea drinking traditions

Azerbaijani tea

Tea has long been a beloved beverage enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.

For millions of people, it is a go-to drink for those who need a boost of energy or want to relax with friends or family.

Legend says that tea was first discovered over 4000 years ago in China by Emperor Nun Shen.

On his visit to a remote region, the Chinese Emperor’s servants had placed the leaves of a nearby tree into a pot of boiling water.

That’s how the first cup of tea was born. At first, tea was mainly used for medicinal purposes.

Some studies show that some tea times can help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes and encourage weight loss.

After the establishment of the East India Company in England, tea started to spread all over the world.

History of Tea in Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, this refreshing drink has been known since the 12th century.

The idea of growing tea in the Caspian sector, in the humid climate regions of Azerbaijan, was first proposed in the 1880s and 1890s.

Local tea plantations are located between the Caspian Sea and the Talysh Mountains, where the subtropical climate and humidity allow tea to be grown.

Lankaran-Astara region is favorable for growing tea. It mainly specializes in growing tea in districts like Astara, Lankaran, Masalli, Lerik, Yardimli and Jalilabad.

Tea Traditions in Azerbaijan

There is nothing better than to start a day with tea in Azerbaijan. The country has rich tea traditions which pass from one generation to another.

For Azerbaijanis tea is associated with warmth and hospitality. Tradition says that one should not allow the guest to leave the house without at least one cup of tea.

In Azerbaijan, people drink tea from the special glass called “armudu” (literally pear-like glass).

Tea also occupied a special place in the matchmaking ceremony, which was called “Heri”. Everything about this ceremony is very symbolic.

If the tea is served without sugar, that is a sign that the chances for marriage agreement are very low; conversely, if tea is served with sugar, it means that there will be a wedding.

Tea Houses and Festival

Azerbaijani tea lovers can’t imagine their lives without visiting traditional tea houses called chaykhana. Here men usually drink tea, while playing backgammon (nard) and readштп the newspaper.

The country also hosts numerous festivals gathering true tea connoisseurs.

The festival guests have a great opportunity to enjoy tea varieties as well as try traditional dishes and sweets of the participating countries.

International Tea Day

Every December 15, tea connoisseurs celebrate the International Tea Day, known as the second most used drink in the world after water.

Launched in 2005, Tea Day aims to encourage the sustainable production, use and manufacture of tea. The day is widely celebrated in tea producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda and Tanzania.

About Fidan Abdullayeva