In Turkey, the average person drinks four to five cups of tea a day. And, when you see just how many different types you can get here, it’s not hard to see why. Tea shops stock varieties in every colour and flavour you can think of – from apple and eucalyptus, to peppermint and pomegranate. Served black in a small 100ml glass with a saucer, it plays an important part in Turkish hospitality. So, whether you’re picking up some souvenirs at a bazaar or relaxing after a Turkish bath, it’s likely you’ll be offered a brew.
Morocco is another country that’s hooked on tea. Here, they drink it around the clock and it’s considered rude not to offer it to a guest – isn’t it everywhere? The brew of choice is green tea, which is known for its antioxidants, with five teaspoons of sugar and a heap of mint to give it a sweet, peppermint flavour. This minty scent wafts through the air at Marrakech’s Jemaa el Fna, where you can sip mint tea on a terrace overlooking the whirlwind of street performers, hawkers and snake charmers below. Alternatively, get stuck in with some haggling and you’ll likely be invited to enjoy a glass with the shop merchant.
Over 19,000 kilograms of tea is consumed every day across the UAE, so you won’t struggle to get your fix here. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, takes high tea to a whole new meaning. Here, you can sit down for tea, smoked salmon sandwiches and scones with toy town-style views of the city below. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to luxury brunching in Dubai. Here are another five for you to get your teeth into. For something with more of a middle-eastern vibe, the Arabian Tea House Café in the historic Al Fahidi district comes with a charming courtyard filled with trees, canopies and rattan chairs. And there’s everything from green to fruit and rooibos tea on the menu.
Dubai is a port of call on eight of our Thomson Cruises. Click here to find out more.
This avocado-shaped island in the Indian Ocean is the planet’s fourth largest tea producer, so there are ample opportunities to not only drink tea but also to find out how it’s made – more interesting than you’d think. Sign yourself up for a tea plantation tour and you can drink in the views of gently-sloping valleys, where every square inch is covered in emerald-green tea plants. See how the leaves are plucked, crushed and dried on their journey from plant to cup, before having a go at tasting the different varieties. Ginger and coriander tea is really popular here, and it’s thought to have medicinal benefits for colds, sore throats and muscle pain. So make sure you take some home for when the drizzly British weather has your nose running.
You’ll never need to go more than an hour without a brew when you’re exploring in India because, here, tea vendors are on practically every street corner. Chai tea is the most popular form. Embracing the country’s love of fiery flavours, it’s served with added spices, as well as milk. It’s an acquired taste but one you’ve definitely got to try. Tea drinking is a real sociable experience here, too. Just like you’d huddle around the kettle for a natter with your colleagues at tea time, locals gather in the streets to sip tea and catch up on the latest gossip. To pair tea time with beach time, head to Goa. Along with soft, golden sands, this Indian state has UNESCO-listed monuments, watersports and haggle-happy markets on tap.
When you think Russia, you think vodka. But it turns out the world’s largest nation has a love for tea, as well as the hard stuff. A great place to stop for tea in the cultural city of St Petersburg is the Singer Café. This beautiful Art Nouveau building sits on the second floor of the Dom Knigi bookshop in the city’s historic centre and features giant arched windows that frame the impressive colonnades of the Kazan Cathedral opposite. Everything from green leaf to Earl Grey is on the menu, along with homemade cheesecake, chocolate pie and pastries. Yum.
St Petersburg is a port of call for our cruises to the Baltics, which are new for summer 2017.
TUI SENSATORI Barut Sorgun offers candlelight yoga, a Turkish bath, swim-up rooms and 24 different types of massage.
This adults-only hotel is right in the heart of Marrakech. It's had a major refurb for 2019, too, so it's in tip-top condition.
As the name suggests, the Goldi Sands is right on a golden-sand beach. Plus, it’s a brilliant launching point for daytrips to the green-clad hills of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations.
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