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An ancient beverage: TEA in Mexican culture

26 Feb 2014 | by Pablo Andrés Calderon del Toro


Let me begin by saying that tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world. It is also a drink that has been involved in wars, slavery, deaths, inventions, and even politics.

Shen Nung the Emperor that discovered tea
Shen Nung the Emperor that discovered tea

China is to be considered the home of tea, discovered by the Emperor Shen Nung, with Lu Yu as the first scholar of tea around the country and the world.

Tea is officially the infusion of the plant Camellia Sinensis, which can be divided into six categories: black teas, dark teas, blue teas, yellow teas and white teas. From China, it conquered countries such as Japan, Korea, Middle East and Europe and most recently South America. It is now believed however, following a recent discovery of a huge hidden natural plantation of Camellia Sinensis in India,that tea may have spread from India to China; but that it is still under investigation.


Tea in Mexico is considered to be totally foreign, and I will tell you my own personal experience of that.

In Mexico, all herbal infusiTEA HEI CHA ons are called TEA; you can get them from any establishments or markets, from lavender to chamomile tisanes. Usually tea brands that are very common among Mexicans go from Lipton CTC’s (Cut, Tear, Crush process of tea bags) to Nestle Ice Teas (ice teas are very popular in Mexico). However, you are also able to find loose leaf teas, but you are forced to pay premium prices and to look for specialized places that sell it (and they won’t have all categories of tea on their shelves).

There is a lack of tea culture, as evidenced by the premium amount that you’ll have to pay in order to buy a good tea and also by the lack of places that can serve a decent cup of tea with its proper infusion time and amount per cup. I have personally noticed that the places that sell the real tea, are full of people that will most of the time order smoothies or some sort of related ice cold beverage that is not fully made of, or with, tea. On top of this, the places lack enthusiasm to educate or transmit this tea culture to their consumers.


On the bright side, the USA Tea Council has just released a report which states that the tea market in Mexico is predicted to experience 15% growth this year. THIS IS GOOD NEWS! It can only mean that more people are going to be able, this year, to import tea and open tea houses. And most importantly, it means that tea is getting inside Mexican houses, and Mexicans are finally learning what tea is all about.

So, if you have the resources and live near or in Mexico, tea is a very good choice for interested investors. The market is still new, and there is a golden opportunity for all tea lovers out there.

To end this post, I leave you with quotation from by Cai Xiang (1012-1067) from the CHALU:

The essence of the enjoyment of tea lies in appreciation of its color, fragrance, and flavor, and the principles of preparation are refinement, dryness, and cleanliness.

Be in Peace. Pablo Andres Calderon Del Toro

Pablo Andrés Calderon del Toro


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