Tea in Iran

Originally, coffee was the most popular drink in Iran/Persia. However, many growing areas were unfavourable and the transport of the brown beans was therefore difficult and expensive.

The large tea producer China was more advantageous. Tea, which came from there via the Silk Road, was therefore relative inexpensive. So it happened that tea gradually replaced coffee in Iran.

In order to be able to satisfy the increasing demand more easily, a first tea cultivation attempt in Iran was made in 1882, but it failed.

Around 1900 Mohammad Mirza was more successful. He went for several years as a Frenchman camouflaged to the British colony of India. The British would not had given the Persian a residence permit because of the danger of knowledge transfer, and therefore only the disguised presence remained for him. He then secretly learned how to grow and process tea, and he then imported 3,000 seedlings (or seeds from some sources) from Kangra in the Himalayas to his homeland. He then planted the first tea gardens near Lahijan in the province of Gilan at the Caspian Sea.

Even today the main cultivation area is located here, which is the basis for iranian tea consumption.

Iran produces 55,000-60,000 tons of tea per year, but only a portion of the country's own consumption can be covered. Additional tea must be imported.

It is solid tea for daily use, which contains little caffeine and tannins and is therefore well suited for the preparation in a Samowar or Caydanlik. Cinnamon or crushed cardamom is also popular for flavouring.

As in Turkey and Syria, tea is drunk from small glasses. In some cases, like in Russia, it is also poured into a saucer and then hotly slurped out of it. A piece of sugar cubes is gladly put into the mouth to sweeten the tea. Biscuits or dates are usually served with tea.

The tea produced in Iran is nearly exclusively  for the domestic market and hardly ever reaches Germany. It can be replaced with tea from Ceylon/Sri Lanka.

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