Friday 21st May was International Tea Day and to mark the occasion colleagues from around the world wrote some words about tea in their countries.  Read them all here:-

Belqees our Partnership Development Assistant in Oman celebrates this International Tea Day showing us the importance of tea in our societies and communities as a main drink along with coffee. “There are many types of tea here in Oman including Karak tea, Sulaimani tea, Herbal tea and Kashmiri tea which originates from Kashmir. In addition, tea is mostly drunk the whole day but the preferred time is in the evening. Karak tea consists of tea, milk, sugar, water, saffron and cardamom. There are many coffee shops specialized in selling Karak tea throughout Oman.”

Valeria our Social Media Intern from Italy tells us “In Italy we don’t have a specific tea tradition, but a lot of Italians drink tea in the afternoon and during the years a lot of tea shops or rooms have been born. I have been drinking tea since I was a teenager; my favourite is the green one, but I’m always curious to try new tastes (strictly without sugar!). Fortunately I have a lot of friends who like tea, so it is very nice to share this moment with them when it is possible; these moments become occasions of connections in a relaxed atmosphere. When I lived in London six years ago, my passion became even bigger and I was happy to see finally a lot of people drinking tea normally, and I’ve found a lot of new tastes to try. Tea is connections, pleasure and relax!”

Raya, one of the participants on the ShePower course in Morocco, tells us about tea in Sahrawi culture. “Tea is not only a drink in my culture, and it is not only consumed at social events. It is simply the way the people interact, we drink tea almost three times a day, and each course contains three cups. We also drink it whenever someone visits us. The tea course is sacred of several hours. Each cup refers to a meaning. The first is bitter like life, the second is sweet like love, and the third is smooth like death ”. Life, love and death. We make tea in a special tea set, every Sahrawi house owns one. Tea preparing is a sign of hospitality, we consider a long course a way of saying you’re welcome to the guest. A short one would be a sign that your hostess is not comfortable. Tea in Sahrawi culture is very important in gatherings, and negotiations, a pot of mint tea served in tiny glass teacups is waiting to create interaction and can break the ice between people. The aesthetics surrounding tea drinking are something we pass from generation to generation.”

Gate at Volunteer Spirit organisation in Thailand produced her own tea during lockdown. Read her story here