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Discover cultures in cups of tea and coffee

Kirjoittanut: Suong Tran Thi Ha - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

I am from a country of many coffees and tea plant fields. There is a habit that has creeped into our cultural life from longer time ago, the culture of drinking tea and coffee. In the casual restaurants, the owner usually serves meals together a free cup of iced tea or mothers often boil a pot of fresh tea for the whole family to drink to combat the harsh summer heat, etc. This tea drinking culture of Vietnam has been started from very long time ago and continuing until now with many transformations. There have appeared many beverage options for people in modern life, one of them is coffee. Same as in Finland, coffee is consumed a lot in my country and people are hard to refuse the compassionate tastes of coffee mixed with condensed milk and ice cube for the hot tropical summer seasons. If in the north of Vietnam, people invented the egg coffee, in the south there created the different taste, coconut milky coffee. However, the most common choice of Vietnamese people is the iced or hot coffee with condensed milk.

Hekumu herbal tea

I am attracted by coffee, but a herbal tea lover

We drink coffee everywhere and every time in a day, at kitchen, at office, in the coffeeshop, or most preferably in the sidewalk coffee. Vietnamese coffee is well-known as the super strong coffee and it is possible to knock-out a strong person by its caffeine level 😏 I remembered one day I took risk by a cup of coffee with empty stomach in the morning, and as the result, I turned to be shocked, unbreathable. Then I must be delivered emergently to the hospital and stayed there for 4 days. That event made me recognize the coffee is not a drink for me.

As my study, I have read that tea leaves contain 3.5% caffeine, while coffee beans have 1.1–2.2%. However, hotter water makes coffee extracts more of the caffeine and 1 cup of brewed coffee generally has more caffeine than a cup of tea. (Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-in-tea-vs-coffee#caffeine-content)

Therefore, tea is considered to be the better choice for those who like caffeine but cannot consume the strong caffeine in coffee like me. However, even so, tea can still make my stomach rumble if I drink it on an empty stomach.

In Vietnam nowadays, we have a trend of drinking bubble milk tea and herbal tea. The milk tea is the first choice for office workers. Even though they are very tasty, we all are aware that drinking that tea frequently can bear some ‘fat babies’ on the body. That is why the herbal tea seems to be smarter option for women. As the tropical country, Vietnam is available for quite rich sources of natural ingredients for the herbal tea. Mostly those who love yoga, meditation or those who care of having slim fit, will twist to drink daily the herbal tea as their top choice of beverage everyday. Besides they also contain the health benefits which are from the vitamins extracted from its natural ingredients. In my opinion, an image of you with herbal tea bottle everyday helps introduce to people a image of person you are- balancing, happy and positive styles. From when I love to enjoy and discover the surprise behind layers of mixed and balancing flavors in the herbal tea, I feel life goes by slowly and peacefully.

Beside cinemas, karaoke rooms, bars and restaurants, the coffee shops seem to be the common choice Vietnamese people who like to meet, hang out or dating. For instance, the couples can find the private corner in the coffee shop, order their favorite drinks like juice, coffee, bubble tea, etc. and chitchat for hours. Friends or business partners also choose the coffee shops to meet each other after work to update each other’s status or develop the networking. The incredibly increasing need of meeting and communication creates more new trends and habits of tea and coffee drinking, for example there are many shops selling bubble tea, or are designed as the Japanese or Chinese tea drinking cultures for the tea ceremony. Besides that, the explosion of social networks and the convenience of delivery help the tea and coffee business in Vietnam to develop like a storm, for example when a delicious new tea appeared on the market, the consumers can easily approach the new product launching information very fast thanks to the power of sharing within the community and social media channels.

However, the tea business situation in Finland is completely different. From when I started my learning for Hekumu tea business, I recognized that Finland market gives more chances for coffee, more than tea. However, tea still appears in the afternoon tea party of family and is the option of people in the coffee shops. I could see that with the cold weather lasting from autumn to spring in Finland, the hot drinks seem to be a more preferable choice of consumers. Interestingly even though the herbal tea is trendier in European countries than in my country, most of ingredients are originated from tropical countries. Herbal tea which has another specific name, infusion, can be mixed skillfully from unique ingredients like tea, flowers, fruits, and herbs. Studying about herbal tea and its market, I also found out there are many kinds of fruits and flowers that I have never heard in Vietnam are used to mix in the herbal tea. People have many options of herbal tea to buy. Every cup of herbal tea that I have tasted made me feel curious to discover more its taste layers. For me behind a cup of herbal tea, there seems to bring an interesting adventurous story.

  • Iida Luhtala

    It is always interesting to hear from different tea cultures. Even now, after months and months of working together, I am still surprised by how different our cultures are around tea. From this essay, I will (try to) take into practice the numbers describing the caffeine levels between tea and Coffee. I was actually surprised that tea might have that much caffeine in it. Thank you for teaching me this!

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