Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Color of tea

Well, what I'm going to tell you now might be a little bit strange, but...

This is tea. You know, tea. This is of course one of the common drinks in my country.
I make and have it at my home from time to time. Many of you must be very familiar with it too.

Now I ask you: what do you call this tea in your language or country?

Strange question?

In Japan, people call it "kocha"(pronounced like co-chaa), which literally means "red tea." Because, its color is red, as you see.
(the picture above might look brown but actually it is more vivid red)

However, I still remember what I learned at junior high (about ten, fifteen, twenty...???) years ago.
"In English, kocha is formally called 'black tea'."


"WHY black? It's red!!" I thought then.
Later, I learned about tea further (at school, or through books or somebody else, I forgot).
It went like this:

"Why kocha is called 'black tea' when necessary is, that when it is made with water in Europe(especially in U.K.) which contains lots of minerals, its color becomes very dark, seeming almost black."

--Now, is it really true??

I understand that European water is often "hard" water, while that in Japan is always "soft" one.
Here I have only seen and had 'red tea,' i.e. kocha literally, so I can't imagine the kocha is being 'black.'

If water ingredients really decide the color of tea, it's interesting, isn't it?

By the way, about the word kocha.
means "red," and cha means "tea drink."
Usually in Japan, when people simply mention "cha" or "o-cha"(o- is a prefix expressing politeness), they mean not "black tea," but "Japanese tea" i.e. "green tea," like this:

Which do you have and like better, black tea or green tea?! :)


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