Best countries for tea lovers

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Qataris are among the world’s top tea drinkers, but plenty of other countries revere the traditions of tea, which provide a fascinating glimpse into local culture and hospitality.



It would be hard to visit Morocco and not be offered glasses of mint tea on a daily basis: it’s a symbol of hospitality and a deeply engrained social custom. The drink is made with gunpowder tea, which takes its name from the pellets formed by the dried tea leaves, to which is added boiling water, sugar, and fresh sprigs of mint. The tea is poured from elaborate kettles, often held high above the glass, and is traditionally prepared and presented by men.


Casablanca, Morocco
Distance: 5,736 km
Flight Time: 8 hours
Frequency: Daily via Tunis

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Marrakech, Morocco
Distance: 5,813 km
Flight Time: 8 hours
Frequency: 3 flights a week

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The Chinese probably invented tea drinking. Certainly, China’s tea culture is at least 2,000 years old and still going strong; in fact, recent prosperity has seen another revival of interest in top-quality tea and elegant tea ceremonies. Green tea is prevalent, but black, white, and flower teas are also enjoyed. Teahouses are ubiquitous, but nowhere more famously than in Chengdu, capital of tea-growing Sichuan province, where tea drinking is often accompanied by opera and storytelling.


Chengdu, China
Distance: 5,146 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a week

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Turkey is the world champion when it comes to tea drinking, consuming more tea per capita than anyone else. Tea drinking is so engrained in Turkish culture that guests are offered tea as a matter of course – though the apple tea proffered to tourists in carpet shops isn’t tea at all, it’s a fruit drink. Turkish tea uses black leaves, has abundant added sugar, and is generally served in an elegant, small tulip-shaped glass on a saucer. The tea is grown on Turkey’s moist and fertile Black Sea coast and consumed throughout Turkey and the Balkans.


Istanbul, Turkey
Distance: 2,720 km
Flight Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: 10 flights a week

Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
Distance: 2,720 km
Flight Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: two flights daily

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Sri Lanka

This island nation is one of the biggest exporters of both black and green tea, and the tea-plantation terraces around the towns of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands provide spectacular landscapes. Visitors can drop by tea ‘cellar doors’ and taste both traditional and new varieties of Ceylon tea while admiring the scenery


Colombo, Sri Lanka
Distance: 3,631 km
Flight Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day

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United Kingdom

The British have famously been downing restorative ‘cuppas’ for four centuries, and in colonial times spread tea plantations and tea drinking across the planet. They remain the biggest tea drinkers in the Western world, downing 62 billion cups per year. There are few more satisfying ceremonies than afternoon tea at a grand London hotel, just the thing to restore the spirits for the remainder of the day.


London, England
Distance: 5,219 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: 6 flights a day

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