Tea is the third most popular drink in the world. Countries have fought wars over it, built their cultures around it, and made it part of their everyday lives.
For tea lovers, a cup of tea is not just a way to rehydrate - it is a moment of peace and self-indulgence in a hectic and sometimes stressful world. Brewing a cup of tea is a small ritual that allows you to take time to yourself and reflect.
If you are a tea lover, then you might be tempted to do some tea-based sightseeing on your next vacation. Today, we are going to share with you the five wonders of the tea world that you must visit.
Starting with the birthplace of one of the world's fastest-growing tea brands.
If you are a tea lover and you are wondering who T2 is then you need to change this immediately.
The company opened its first store in Melbourne, Australia in July 1996 with the intention of making tea cool again. The company now has over 100 stores across the world with an ever-expanding range of blends and teaware.
In this store, you can rock up and try any of their blends, talk to their brewing experts, and even sample some tea-inspired foods.
If you are looking for a modern take on tea that retains respect for the traditions of the leaf then you shouldn't sleep on T2.
This plantation is a must-visit for those of you who love traditional tea or Thai Tea.
This is the plantation that supplies tea leaves to four of Thailand's most popular brands - Oishi, Ichitan, Lipton, Unif, and Malee. You can take a tour of the beautiful grounds (which are some of the best in Thailand), and even stop off at the tea-themed restaurant when you get hungry.
What makes this plantation an even more enticing offer is that on your way to the plantation you can stop off at the White Temple - a location that everyone should visit while they are in Thailand.
So, if you want to taste Thailand's best tea, fresh off the branch then head to the Choui Fong Tea Plantation.
The city of Uji is one of the most important cities in Japan when it comes to tea. It is responsible for producing some of the best Matcha (powdered green tea) and Gykuro in the world.
You will find no shortage of tea houses and tea-based attractions in the city - but we recommend that you spend at least an hour in The Taiho-an Tea House.
It sits opposite the Phoenix Temple and for the small price of 500 yen, you can experience a private tea ceremony. The tea will be served to you in a traditional way by an expert who will talk you through the process and help you to sample the teas.
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of sampling Golden Needles from Yunnan will know that this province in China is well worth a visit.
Yunnan has many things to offer a tea lover, including a huge forest of old tea bushes, and the oldest tea bush in the world set alongside a temple.
Da Xue Shan (Big Snow Mountain) is home to an ancient forest of tea bushes - where the average age of the plants is 2000 years old. There are a few tea houses and gift shops dotted around the area, but you should make sure to stop off and take a look at Jinxiu Tea Tree which is over 3200 years old.
Our final stop of our tea lovers' world tour is the Handungoda Estate.
This really is the hidden gem of the tea world. The Handungoda Estate offers a free tour around their grounds, they will show you how they pick their tea, sort it, dry it, and they will brew some up for you to taste at the end.
Everyone at the Handungoda Estate loves tea and knows an incredible amount about it. They offer the tour for free, so please buy a couple of cups of tea at the end of the tour as it is a unique and delightful experience.