Exploring the history and culture of Asian tea and coffee

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Vince Tung, UIW business economics senior serves Taiwanese Bubble Tea to Khales Mulla, UIW business administration sophomore, Oct.22 in UIW's Marian Hall Ballroom during the Asian Tea and Coffee Culture sponsored by the Asian Club.  Javier Hernandez

Vince Tung, UIW business economics senior serves Taiwanese Bubble Tea to Khales Mulla, UIW business administration sophomore, Oct.22 in UIW’s Marian Hall Ballroom during the Asian Tea and Coffee Culture sponsored by the Asian Club. Javier Hernandez

UIW lecture includes samples of teas and coffee from Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia.

Richard Montemayor

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

The Institute of World Cultures at the University of the Incarnate World held its annual Asian Tea and Coffee Culture Oct. 23 in the Marian Hall ballroom.

“The goal is to teach people more about tea and coffee culture, said Vince Tung, a business economics senior at UIW and member of the institute.

He said in America people drink more coffee than tea and do not recognize the culture behind tea and coffee.

The organization uses international students to teach affordable, informal non-credit language and cultural education programs for UIW students and other guests.

The event showed the history of tea and coffee culture from Japan, Korea, India, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia.

Each speaker did a PowerPoint presentation on their country. Guests were then treated to tea and coffee from that country.

Here in the U.S., the ritual of drinking tea is not a big deal, speakers said.

Coffee, on the other hand, is. It is served morning noon and night, and can be found anywhere from coffee shops to movie theaters, they said.

Out of all the teas and coffees served at the event, two stood out the most.

A bubble tea from Taiwan, invented in the 1980s in the city of Taichung, was sweet and had colorful little tapioca balls at the bottom of the cup. Indian milk tea looked like coffee but tasted like peppermint.

Other samples included Arabic Coffee, which is traditionally served at home or for special occasions; Japanese traditional tea; Indian milk tea and Korean tea.

Malek Altheyabi, UIW marketing major, kicked off the event by showcasing the coffee culture in Saudi Arabia.

Unlike American coffee, which is usually sweetened, Arabic coffee is served like an espresso to complement desserts and other sugary foods, Altheyabi said.

“Arabic coffee is served with sweets like cupcakes and dates, Altheyabi said.

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