"Tea is a long conversation of good people"
Many people have heard the traditional proverb of the East. Sayings are created by people on the assumption of life experience. From the natural conditions of our region, it is clear that water has always been worthy of gold. It was valued.
Since ancient times, in Uzbekistan there is a customary to meet guests with a bowl of Uzbek tea. Even the guest is unexpected, even if he is unfamiliar - the ought of the host to give the opportunity a traveler to quench his thirst. And what could be better than cool green tea in the hottest time of the year? But cold tea is not drunk at any time of the day. In the mornings and after eating hot food, especially after the greasy meal, one should drink hot tea.
In such a hot country as Uzbekistan, tea has become traditional due to its unique abilities to quench thirst and cool the body. This quality is very valuable here.
History of Uzbek tea
Historians write that in the 19th century, the Uzbeks drank green tea in large quantities, and this was observed both in large cities and small villages. Even then it was brewed in teapots, and more often a special copper pitcher - kumgan was used. The wealthy citizens and tea-houses had even Russian samovars. In those days green tea in its present form was expensive and affordable only for the rich. Poor people used as a beverage a mixture that consisted of herbs and tea leaves.
A great surprise among Russian travelers caused tea, which was boiled with milk, butter, pepper and salt. This type of Uzbek tea was used by nomads, because it was more caloric, gave energy and warmed in cold weather. Such tea was called shir-tea or ak-tea, and also Kalmyk tea.
Since long time tea has become a favorite drink in the East. It was brought along the Great Silk Road, and considering the fact that the delivery of such valuable tea took much time, the price for tea was colossal. Dried herbs, various roots and leaves were alternatives to natural tea.
At the bazaars of the Fergana region among poor people, the khoshak-tea was popular. It consisted of two different varieties of dry grass, as well as cereal pepper, chub-tea and cinnamon. "Khoshak" in translation means grass, and chub-tea consisted of a small amount of ordinary Uzbek green tea.
In those times, a pressed version of the drink was also used. It included tea, rose leaves, pomegranate, almonds and quince in the composition.
Rich population consumed up to 20 cups of real high-quality green tea a day.
Nowadays, beautiful green tea in Uzbekistan has become available to everyone. Almost in all settlements and cities of Uzbekistan people drink only green tea - kok-choy, and only in Tashkent residents prefer black one - kora choy.
Tea traditions in Uzbekistan
Tea in Uzbekistan is more than just a drink. This is the "thing" of first necessity! Tea opens and ends any meal; guests are greeted by tea. During the day and between meals, tea can be served as a "separate dish", and every time it is necessarily brewed fresh. There is no a day in the Uzbek family without tea.
Tea is drunk from national Uzbek cups – bowls (piala). Every guest is treated by tea. Almost every native inhabitant of Uzbekistan, even regardless of nationality adheres to this tradition. When the guest comes – the Uzbek teapot of freshly brewed tea and bowls are put before him. It is considered impolite to refuse tea. Together with the teapot, bowls are served one more than the number of guests. The additional bowl is used for “kaitar” (from the verb "kaitmok" - "return"). Kaitar is needed to make tea better brewed: tea is poured into a bowl and poured into a kettle again. This procedure should be made three times. It turns out a very effective brewing.
If you are a guest of the Uzbek family, tea is poured and served by the daughter-in-law or the hostess. In the company of men, the owner of the house spills tea; and in the Uzbek tea-house the youngest man in the company should pour the tea.
It is necessary to let the tea stand, and then pour it. Uzbek tea is poured in a bowl, with "respect", that is, one-third of the cup. So the tea cools and the guest does not burn. Tea is poured into the bowl and stretched to the guest with the left hand, the right one is put on the left side of the chest, i.e. from the heart.
Beneficial properties of Uzbek tea
Tea has very useful properties. The great Avicenna, Uzbek healer said: "Tea refreshes the body, strengthens the spirit, softens the heart, awakens thoughts, and drives away laziness." Numerous useful features of tea have been known since time immemorial, and modern researches show that green tea has calming and beneficial effect on the nervous system. Drinking five cups of tea a day, you reduce the likelihood of a stroke. The use of tea brings down the level of cholesterol and normalizes metabolism. Tea strengthens bones, teeth and nails due to the fluoride contained in the leaves of tea.
The rules of cooking green tea according to the Uzbek tradition
Before placing tea leaves in the kettle, it is warmed up well. Then little boiling water is added, while constantly keeping the kettle for a couple. After that, the kettle is filled halfway, then only one-third, then completely. It should be noted that pauses in 3 minutes are maintained. One teaspoon of Uzbek dry green tea is used for half a liter of water.
Varieties of Uzbek tea. What is Uzbek tea like?
Green tea (kok choy).
In all regions of Uzbekistan, except Tashkent, green tea is usually drunk. Tea is made, strictly adhering to these rules: one teaspoon on half a liter of water. Tea is put for 5 minutes on a fever, then it is served.
Tea of special order (rais choy).
In warmed teapot Uzbek green tea at the rate of three teaspoons per liter of water is put. The teapot is topped with boiling water, put for 5 minutes at the heat, covered with a napkin and served on a table after a very greasy meal on hot days. Such type of tea is given to people sick with hypertension and diabetes.
Black tea (kora choy).
Among Tashkent people the favorite drink after eating is black tea. According to calculation it is brewed the following way: a teaspoon per half liter of water. This Uzbek tea is served immediately, covering the teapot with a napkin.
Uzbek tea with black pepper (murch choy).
One teaspoon of black tea and black ground pepper (on the tip of the knife) are used for half a liter of water. Tea and pepper are put in the kettle, and is brewed with steep boiling water. Tea is served after a dense food usually in winter, for rapid digestion, while colds, when it is necessary to sweat.
Uzbek tea with basil (raikhonli choy)
A teaspoon full of black tea and a pinch of powder from the dried leaves of basil are put in a rinsed kettle. The kettle is filled up with steep boiling water. Then it is covered with a napkin. This type of Uzbek tea isserved after eating, or if one has sensations of heaviness in the stomach.
Tea with seeds of black cherry (sedanali choy)
For half a liter of water a teaspoon of black tea and 20 seeds of black cherry are put. Uzbek teapot is kept at the heat for 2-3 minutes. Then it is served on the table. This tea is drunk if you eat late at night and you need to speed up its assimilation. It is also drunk as a helminthic remedy, and adding honey - as a cholagogue diuretic.
Tea with saffron
For half a liter of water one teaspoon of green tea and a pinch of saffron are used. It is recommended for nausea, colic in the heart, and belching.
Welcome to the Uzbek tea house
Since ancient times the main place of rest and tea drinking in Uzbekistan was chayhana (tea house). Tea-houses have been present in every mahalla, near bazaars, in bathhouses and caravan-sheds. This is the most popular place for locals
Uzbek chaikhanas collected folk musicians and poets for a cup of tea. There were songs, poems; scoundrels competed with each other. And, still tea in the East is just an excuse to gather with friends in the appointed tea and, leisurely, tastefully talk about life
The tea house is usually located in a picturesque place, under spreading tree crowns, over a deep water ditch or on the shore of a cozy house.
An indispensable attribute of Uzbek tea house is a samovar, which is called Russian.
Dear guests booking Uzbekistan tour packages! Be sure to visit the real Uzbek tea house where you can not only sit on a couch at a dastarkhan (Uzbek national table) with oriental sweets, fruits and a bowl of hot green tea, but also comprehend the true meaning of the tradition of a leisurely tea party in the East! With the cup of hot Uzbek tea long sincere conversations are held and the main questions of life are solved.