Monday, May 9, 2011
I recently took this picture while having tea, or "chay," with Zeynab and the informatics teacher at my school and thought it was kind of cool. We all had a break from classes at the same time so we had a little chay and chat session.Chay is a huge part of life in Azerbaijan. You can not have a conversation, a meal or even a thought without drinking tea. This isn't bad for me, I've always loved tea and find myself drinking it more and more at my own will. Even in the summer, when it is 100 degrees and humid, we all drink tea before we do anything important, its just the Azerbaijani way. Most of the tea they sell here is grown down in the south in Lankaran, near the Iranian border. When driving away from the main town and out into the villages you can see the many fields of tea growing along the side of the road. This is all black tea, which is the tea of choice here, but they do dry many kinds flowers and other plants to make special healing teas for when you have a cold. Azerbaijani's never drink tea by itself. In the mornings loose sugar is poured by the cup full into the breakfast tea. Anytime after breakfast a sugar cube in the mouth is OK, maybe chocolates, or my favorite, home made preserved fruit. The glass in this picture, an "armud stakan" (pear cup), is a very typical, very Azerbaijani cup to drink your tea out of. Tea drinking is an art here and tradition worth noting.