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Nice Work, Toph
Good work, Tea.

This page has been nominated to be a B-class article due to its reasonable standard.

Serving tea

Iroh enjoyed drinking and serving tea.

Tea is a commonly served beverage in the World of Avatar.[2] It is brewed from a variety of leaves and herbs, which are steeped in hot water prior to consumption. While milk is not typically added to traditional brews, Iroh suggested it as a complementary additive when he attempted to create his own varieties.[3]

Tea is most commonly consumed in the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation due its is relative accessibility. Comparatively, tea is not as actively consumed in the Water Tribes due to the lack of suitable plants with which to create it.[2]

The most notable tea drinker was Iroh, who enjoyed it on a regular basis. He had a lifelong dream of opening a tea shop,[2] and achieved this goal when he opened the Jasmine Dragon in Ba Sing Se.[4]

Varieties

Chi-enhancement

When consumed, chi-enhancing tea is a natural stimulant that improves strength and increases energy tenfold. It is consumed by Earth Kingdom military officials and soldiers, though rather sparingly due to its rarity.

Avatar Aang drank this tea per General Fong's suggestion. While the beverage made Aang hyperactive, it did not successfully induce the Avatar State, which was the intended goal.[5]

Ginger

An herbal concoction, ginger tea is made through the use of ginger roots and is primarily used for medicinal purposes.[6]

Ginseng

Zuko and Iroh were served ginseng tea during their stay at Zhao's base. Iroh enjoyed many cups of this tea and claimed it to be his favorite upon their departure.[7]

Green

Green tea is one of the many teas served in Iroh's teashop. It is enjoyed primarily by citizens of the Earth Kingdom.[4]

Jasmine

Said to be a relatively soothing brew, jasmine tea is a favorite of Iroh's. He offered it to Zuko right after he saw the light in the sky resulting from Aang's release from the iceberg.[8]

Lychee

A tea available in Iroh's teashop, this brew is enjoyed by many citizens of the Earth Kingdom, specifically those in Ba Sing Se. It is made from lychee nuts and, due to the fruit's availability, is commonly found in many parts of the globe.[4]

Spiced tea

Spiced tea is commonly served in the Fire Nation. It was offered to Team Avatar by Hama after she found the group camping out near her inn.[9]

Tapioca

Invented by Iroh, this kind of tea is made by stewing tapioca balls until they are soft and tender. The tapioca is subsequently added to a cup of tea, along with a small amount of milk. Both Zuko and Aang disliked the taste, with Zuko spitting his out and Aang commenting that he found it chewy.[3]

White dragon

The white dragon bush is a plant that grows in the eastern Earth Kingdom. According to Iroh, the plant can be used to brew a tea "so delicious, it's heartbreaking". It is sometimes confused with the white jade bush due to the two plants having similar appearances.[10]

White jade

The white jade bush is a plant that grows in the eastern Earth Kingdom. It is sometimes confused with the white dragon bush, due to the two plants having similar appearances. Tea made from the white jade bush can be poisonous to the drinker if brewed incorrectly.[10] When Iroh brewed a tea from the white jade plant, he developed a severe rash that would have caused his throat to swell and restricted his breathing if left untreated. However, it can be prepared for safe consumption, as Ming served a cup of this brew to Iroh when he was detained in the Capital City Prison, stating that she knew how much he liked rare teas.[11]

Notable tea houses

Jasmine Dragon

Main article: Jasmine Dragon
Jasmine Dragon

The Jasmine Dragon was located in the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se and owned by Iroh.

The Jasmine Dragon was a tea house owned by Iroh and located in the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se. Traditional in design, the once-failing business was revived after being taken over by Iroh and was frequented by many high-class citizens due to the renowned tea served there.[12]

King's Tea Palace

Located on the grounds of the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace and surrounded by lush gardens, the King's Tea Palace is among the most prestigious in Ba Sing Se, considered a place for tranquility and reflection. With servants on hand to brew and serve the tea, it was often used by Earth King Kuei as a place to meet with guests, or frequented by the king and his pet bear, Bosco. In Kuei's time, the King's Tea Palace was surrounded by animal topiaries representing the king's menagerie of exotic fauna.[13]

Pao Family Tea House

Main article: Pao Family Tea House

The Pao Family Tea House is a tea house in the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se owned by Pao. It enjoyed commercial success during the short period that Iroh worked there and was frequented by citizens of the Lower Ring searching for a place to relax and talk over a cup of tea.[1]

Real world connection

Tea is also a very common drink in the real world, especially in Asia and the British Isles, the former being a continent with various cultures from which the franchise draws influence. Many types of tea in the Avatar World also exist in the real world.

Iroh's "tapioca tea" is similar to bubble tea, which was invented in Taiwan in the 1980's and includes many varieties, one of which involves the use of a tea-based mixture blended with milk, fruit, and toppings like tapioca pearls and various jellies to create a thicker consistency beverage.

Trivia

  • During his temporary reign as Fire Lord in 101 AG, Iroh declared there would be a "National Tea Appreciation Day".[14]
  • The ingredients involved in the creation of the chi-enhancing tea were not specified, though the intended increase in energy and Aang's subsequent hyperactivity after consuming it are very similar to the effects associated with caffeine consumption, an active ingredient of many teas.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (September 22, 2006). "City of Walls and Secrets". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  3. 3.0 3.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Three (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  5. Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  6. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  7. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  8. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (February 21, 2005). "The Boy in the Iceberg". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  9. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (March 24, 2006). "The Cave of Two Lovers". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  11. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  12. The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: The Jasmine Dragon. Tumblr. Retrieved on November 8, 2018.
  13. The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Location: King's Tea Palace. Tumblr. Retrieved on November 8, 2018.
  14. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Search Part One (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.

See also