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Tea

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Serving tea
Iroh enjoyed drinking and serving tea.
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Tea is a commonly served beverage in the World of Avatar, and is drunk most commonly in the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation.[2] It is brewed from a variety of leaves and herbs, which are steeped in hot water and drunk. Milk is not typically added to any of the traditional brews, although Iroh suggested it when he attempted to create his own.

Though relatively common, tea is not actively consumed in the Water Tribes due to the lack of suitable plants by which to create it.

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.[3]

Varieties

Chi-enhancement

Chi-enhancing tea is a natural stimulant. When drunk, it improves strength and increases energy tenfold, and is sometimes consumed by military officials and soldiers, though used rather sparingly due to its rarity. In an attempt to induce the Avatar State, General Fong gave Aang this tea, though he simply became hyper-active as a result.[4]

The ingredients involved in the creation of this brew are not specified, though the intended effects, and those seen on Aang, give a very similar reaction as the consumption of caffeine.

Ginger

An herbal concoction, ginger tea is made through the use of ginger roots. It is primarily used as medicine.

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 leaving.[5]

Green

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

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 being freed from the iceberg.[6]

Lychee

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

White jade

This is a tea made from the white jade bush. Ming served a cup of this brew to Iroh when he was held detained in the Capital City Prison, stating that she knew how much he liked rare teas.[7]

This tea has shown to be poisonous, however, as when Iroh drank a cup brewed with the leaves of the white jade plant, he developed a severe rash. Had it been left untreated, it could have caused his throat to swell and prevent his breathing, thus killing him.

Spiced tea

A spiced tea commonly served in the Fire Nation.

Tapioca

Invented by Iroh, this kind of tea is made by cooking balls of tapioca until they become soft and tender. The tapioca sits at the bottom of the cup of tea and the server adds a little milk. Both Zuko and Aang disliked the taste, with Zuko spitting his out, and Aang commenting that he found it chewy.[8]

White dragon

The white dragon bush is a plant that grows in the eastern Earth Kingdom. It produces tea that Iroh described as "so delicious, it's heartbreaking". Apparently, it is often confused with the poisonous white jade due to the plants' similar appearances and coloration.[9]

Customs

Tea is customarily served to people of all statuses, whether royalty or poverty-stricken citizens. As hinted by Iroh, pouring someone's tea may be a sign of respect, or merely an act of politeness.

Notable tea houses

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.

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.
Random RanaunAdded by Random Ranaun

The Jasmine Dragon was a tea house owned by Iroh and located in the Upper Ring of Ba Sing Se. It was frequented by the wealthy due to Iroh's reputation of being the best tea-maker in Ba Sing Se.

Real world connection

Tea is also a very common drink in the real world, especially in Asia and England, the former being a culture from which the television show draws great 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 1980s and has many varying recipes, using a tea-based mixture with milk and fruit added, or ice-blended.

Trivia

  • During his temporary reign as Fire Lord in 101 AG, Iroh declared there would be a "National Tea Appreciation Day".[10]

References

  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 Throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  3. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  4. 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.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 3 (September 26, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  9. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (March 24, 2006). "The Cave of Two Lovers". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  10. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Search Part 1 (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.

See also

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