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Secrets of the Uzbek tea ceremony


Each country has its own tea traditions. And in Uzbekistan it is a special culture. Every Uzbek's day begins and ends with a sip of fragrant tea. Hot and fragrant in the morning for breakfast, after a high–calorie lunch, dinner, or during the arrival of guests, tea is an indispensable component of a busy day.

Tea culture in Uzbekistan originated in the XIX century, when skilled traders from China brought here the first collectible sets of decoctions and various herbs.

Most of all in our country they love green tea and it used to be brewed in beautiful copper jugs – kumgans, which were initially used for washing hands, and then became suitable for brewing tea. 

Uzbeks often cooked Shirchoy in the morning –  tea according to an old recipe of Asian nomads, with milk with salt and spices added – it was very high in calories and sometimes replaced a full breakfast. Today shirchoy is prepared in special cases: in the cold season or during family holidays and celebrations.

Tea drinking is the basis of Uzbek hospitality. Every self-respecting Uzbek greets his guest with fresh bread and a bowl of fragrant hot tea. In some regions and the capital there is a special tea ritual. Before serving, hot tea is rinsed 3 times in a bowl and handed over to the guest in a clean cup for the fourth time. This should not be surprising. Firstly, this way the tea turns out to be richer, and a clean bowl in which tea is poured to the guest is a sign of deep respect and purity of relations.

Another special detail is that the tea is poured into the bowl little by little, literally for 1-2 sips. The more often the host pours tea into the guest's cup, the more expensive the guest is for him. And if you come at the wrong time or for some urgent business, and you are not very welcome (which is extremely rare), the host of the house makes it clear to the guest by pouring a full cup of tea.

Today, the ancient traditions of tea drinking have not been lost in Uzbekistan, older people prefer green tea, it quenches thirst more and does not raise blood pressure, and young people experiment with new varieties of tea, cook according to various recipes with the addition of fruits and spices.

And true connoisseurs say: "What could be better after an appetizing pilaf - only hot green tea."

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Muhammadali Shuxratov | 15.09.2022

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