Almost 80% of people drink tea at home. For some, it’s a delicious pick-me-up that they like to drink as part of their morning routine. But for true tea lovers, it is a vocation and even an obsession.
There are thousands of varieties of tea, and only some of those types are available in your home country.
Drinking tea in different countries can give you a deeper cultural insight and help you learn more about their history. You can also see the production process, meet fellow tea lovers, and drink delicious tea that’s unlike anything you’ve had before. Win-win!
But what are the best travel destinations for people who love tea? This list has all the tea travel inspiration you need to start planning your trip.
1. Hangzhou, China
Hangzhou is a mecca for tea lovers. Chinese people have enjoyed tea for thousands of years and they, by far, produce the largest amount of tea in the world.
Every Chinese province produces its own tea varieties, including black tea, white tea, yellow tea, flower tea, and oolong tea. And the Zhejiang province where Hangzhou is the capital city produces incredible green tea.
To learn more about the production of this tea, head to Longjing Tea (or Dragon Well Tea) plantations. It’s an expensive tea to harvest and hard to find outside of China. It’s unlikely to be available in your grocery store back home!
The Hangzhou tea museum is also a great place to learn about tea. And, tons of teahouses line the streets of the city so you are sure to find excellent places to enjoy a cuppa.
2. Darjeeling, India
Assam might be the largest producer of tea in India, but there’s a reason why people call Darjeeling tea the “fine wine of teas.” It has a unique floral and fruity aroma and can create black, white, oolong, and green teas depending on when it’s harvested.
There are dozens of tea gardens in Darjeeling you can visit. Here are some of the best ones:
- Happy Valley Tea Estate
- Sourenee Tea Estate
- Gomtee Tea Resort
- Chamong Tea Estate
The city’s oldest tea garden is Makaibari Tea Estate which dates back to 1859 when the British ran the operation. It’s an organic tea garden and even offers accommodation so you can stay right on the plantation.
3. Cotswolds, England
There are no rewards for guessing that England would be somewhere on this list. England is an entire country of tea lovers even though they don’t grow their own. Black tea is by far the most popular type of tea served here but herbal blends are growing in popularity.
And you should taste them with your high tea or afternoon tea in the Cotswolds region.
Afternoon tea is a small meal consumed in the afternoon and consists of small sandwiches, cakes, and copious amounts of tea. Harrogate, London, and Bath are fantastic tea cities. But, the Cotswolds region offers the most choice of tea houses in dreamy fairytale-esque locales.
The best travel ideas and inspiration for teahouses in the Cotswolds include:
- The Tea Set in Broadway
- The Well Walk Tearoom in Cheltenham
- The Lavender Bakehouse in Chalford
- Lucy’s Tearoom in Stow-on-the-Wold
English Breakfast (served with milk) and Earl Grey (served with lemon) are the teas to taste on your travels there.
4. Marrakech, Morocco
Morocco is another country that doesn’t grow its own tea but is in tune with all the great benefits of tea. Because when you can’t find great tea in your local area, you can always source it elsewhere on sites like NMTeaCo.com or EnglishTeaStore.com.
Morocco is one of the biggest importers of tea and you can find it all over the country but Marrakech has the best teahouses. Traditional Moroccan-style tea consists of Chinese gunpowder green tea, fresh mint, hot water, and sugar. The amount of sugar in this tea depends on where you are in the country.
Marrakech tea houses are tourist attractions in their own right because of their ornate Moorish design. Some of the best teahouses to visit on your travels there are Tchaba Tea House, Tea Room Riad Yima, and Henna Café.
5. Kyoto, Japan
England might have afternoon high tea but Kyoto in Japan has lavish tea ceremonies. Tea drinking is a serious business in this city which should delight tea snobs.
Apprentice geishas called Maikos lead tea ceremonies with the help of an interpreter. You get the opportunity to sit in an authentic tea ceremony room, drink Japanese green tea, and eat yummy Japanese sweet treats.
It’s a tea experience that you will not get anywhere else in Japan or the rest of the world!
6. Ella, Sri Lanka
India has a wonderful climate for growing tea so it makes sense that nearby Sri Lanka has a strong tea culture, too. There are plantations all over the country but different regions produce different teas. The rule is: the higher the elevation, the lighter the tea’s taste.
So, there are tons of amazing tea plantations near the small Sri Lankan hillside town of Ella. Hop on the famous Ella to Kandy train journey and you will be able to look out over dozens of plantations on the way.
Halpewatte Tea Factory and Haputale Tea Plantations should be on your itinerary when you visit Ella in Sri Lanka.
Add These Top Places for Tea Lovers to Your Bucket List Now!
If you love tea and you love to travel, it’s a no-brainer to combine them! Not only do you get to travel to new and exciting places, but you get to enjoy unique teas, too.
And now you know which countries offer the best experiences for tea lovers, you can start planning your next vacation to tea heaven.
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