Drinking tea in Myanmar is not as difficult as that in Japan. In Burma, drinking tea is simply a lifestyle of local people. The people of Myanmar consume tea on a daily and customary basis. Indeed, this culinary practice is a part of their daily life. Tea is a ubiquitous drink that plays an important role in Burmese cuisine. Do not forget to enjoy tea like the real Burmese when you make a trip to Myanmar.
In the northern plateaus of the country, along the Ayerwaddy River, or in the north of the Shan, Chin and Kachin regions, tea trees grow quickly and guarantee abundant harvests thanks to good climatic conditions. In addition, tea from these regions also has a fresh and unique taste. Organic farming methods without fertilizers also make tea have an exceptional flavor. Thus, it is not surprising for visitors to see the green tea trays in the north.
Tea in Myanmar, a delicious drink
Tea is a drink that is deeply connected to the daily life of local people. The Burmese are not only addicts to betel but also to tea. In the cultural tradition of the Myanmar people in general and in the Burmese cuisine in particular, tea plays an important role. This is proved by the fact that tea is one of popular offerings in temple festivals. Indeed, tea leaves are offered to the Gods during prayers hoping to have good auguries.
In everyday life, people in Myanmar have kept their habit of drinking tea. You can meet tea stands at every street corner. During your Myanmar travel, you will see local people drinking tea in the morning or at sunset.
There are many kinds of tea. When you arrive here, you can choose a cup of milk tea with a sweet taste, or enjoy a cup of bitter tea or many types of mixed tea. Cakes are often good choices to accompany tea. For the Burmese, it is natural to drink tea while enjoying small biscuits, buns or Parata cakes.
Making a trip to Myanmar, you will see many tea shops along roads. After a day of exhausting strolls, visitors to Myanmar will be able to stop at a sidewalk restaurant to enjoy a cup of tea and watch the beautiful faces painted with Thanakha powder. It is also an opportunity to learn why tea is preferred in Burma. Drinking tea naturally coexists with other culinary practices of Myanmar people, as something natural in the local lifestyle which is relaxed and peaceful.
A trip to Myanmar gives you the opportunity to visit different types of tea shops in major cities such as Yangon or Mandalay or in small villages on Inle Lake and in Bagan. Among them is one of the most modern tea shops in Yangon called Rangoon Teahouse, which also serves steamed ravioli and famous coconut noodles (ono Kaew SOI) that everyone should try at least once.
Drinking tea – a daily culinary practice of the Burmese
In Myanmar, tea is not only a drink to accompany snacks but also used in preparing meals. Indeed, there is a well-known dish made from tea in rural areas called the Thoke phet – tea leaf salad.
The tea leaves are laminated together with sesame oil, scallops, garlic, dried shrimp, coconut and ginger, then soaked and fermented. It is a popular dish on the table of the Burmese. For those who want to discover the Burmese cuisine, it is worth tasting. Depending on the personal preferences or culinary culture of each region, there are 2 main styles to make the Thoke phet. In principle, add pepper, lemon, salt and sometimes even vinegar or fish sauce to obtain a salty, sour and spicy taste.
Yet, the traditional-styled salad uses fewer spices which better retains the strong flavor of fermented tea and is much bitterer.
A trip to Myanmar is an unforgettable experience to discover the Burmese cuisine. In Myanmar, drinking tea is not an art of living as in Japan. However, tea is also play a significant role in the Burmese daily life. It serves both as a drink and an indispensable raw material in the kitchen of Burmese people. Vietnam tea is also very good, but if you make some Burma tours, you can choose the famous Burmese tea as an interesting souvenir.