Tea is a commonly served beverage in the World of Avatar. As we have come to note, Uncle Iroh’s tea is one of the best in the whole Avatar world. He is so passionate about it and considers making good tea far more than just boiling leaves and wringing out the juice. Zuko and Iroh on the way to Ba Sing Se encountered a tea seller who sold them bad tea. Iroh, offended, remarks that the tea was just hot leaf juice. Zuko, confused, asks his Uncle if that wasn’t what all tea was.
Uncle Iroh’s Tea Basics
Tea 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. This is why he was so successful as a tea connoisseur.
Tea is most consumed locally in the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation than any of the other nations. This is also due to its relative accessibility. Compared to the other nations, tea is not as actively consumed in the Water Tribes. This is due to the lack of suitable plants from which to create it. Mostly because Iroh’s time was AG (After Genocide) of the Air Nomads, we can’t exactly add them to the list of the present nations.
However, the Air Nomads are also known to have drunk tea before their genocide. They have their own distinct style of making and consuming tea.
Tea is also known to be consumed in the Spirit World as seen in The Legend of Korra. It was served during Iroh’s tea party that Korra attended in 171 AG.
Tea is a hot beverage that has been enjoyed by individuals across the world throughout the ages. It was consumed as early as 9,829 BG by Wan, Yao, and Jaya atop a fire lion turtle. This is at the beginning of time in the Avatar world as we know 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, realizing this goal upon opening the Jasmine Dragon in Ba Sing Se.
Several Varieties Of Uncle Iroh’s Tea
Air Nomad style
The Air Nomads had a way of making their own tea. Much like other cultures, Air Nomads must have had preferences as to how they preferred their tea best consumed. Their own style of tea includes the addition of flour. Jinpa, Kyoshi’s friend, served some to Hei-Ran and Atuat using ingredients he borrowed from the Fire Nation Royal Palace kitchen. This can be found in the Rise of Kyoshi
Black teas have a very stronger flavor than most and they are made with withered leaves. In the Jasmine Dragon; Uncle Iroh’s tea shop, there is a blend of this tea called the Metal Brew which was named in honor of Toph Beifong. Iroh claimed that this tea fuels the customer up for the day, but also warned that it also “packs a punch”. I’m sure we don’t need any explanation for that analogy as to why it is named after Toph.
Chi-enhancement (Uncle Iroh’s Tea)
General Fong, in an attempt to get Aang to go into the Avatar state offered Aang chi-enhancing tea. This tea was an attempt that was meant to force him into the Avatar State.
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.
After Aang had drunk this tea per General Fong’s suggestion. While the beverage failed to make Aang enter into the State, he however became extremely hyperactive.
Ginger tea is an herbal concoction made from ginger roots and is primarily used for medicinal purposes. This tea is used for its health benefits.
Zuko and Iroh served ginseng tea during their stay at Zhao’s base. Upon being invited to a drink by the commander, Iroh claimed it was his favorite and enjoyed several cups of this tea. He later reaffirmed this view to Zuko upon their departure, claiming the tea was quite good.
Green (Uncle Iroh’s Tea)
Green tea is one of the many teas served in the Jasmine Dragon, where it was called the Ba Sing Quon.
It is enjoyed primarily by citizens of the Earth Kingdom. Its leaves have a refined shape and soothing texture, being subtle in its tastes due to a faster brewing time on lower heat, and was recommended for the refined palettes of the Upper Ring.
Said to be a relatively soothing brew, jasmine tea is a favorite of Iroh’s. He offered it to Zuko immediately after seeing the light in the sky resulting from Aang’s release from the iceberg.
This is a variety of tea that is available in Uncle Iroh’s tea shop, 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.
A traditional, partially oxidized tea. It is available at the Jasmine Dragon, a strain of oolong sold under the name Bender Tea. Blended for those who cultivate a much more balanced approach to life, it was named for Aang and Katara.
Red-blooded Nephew (Uncle Iroh’s Tea)
This tea is amber in color, grassy in taste, and very bitter. Iroh does not consider this a very good tea and considered taking it off the Jasmine Dragon’s menu.
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. They savored the tea while she told them about her past.
Iroh served Zuko and Aang tapioca tea in the Jasmine Dragon.
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 drink, with Zuko spitting his out and Aang commenting that he found it chewy. At the Jasmine Dragon, this was called the Appa Blend. It is named after Appa.
White tea is considered the most delicate of all teas by its connoisseurs, but it also holds a complex undercurrent of intriguing tastes and strength under its natural layers of sweetness. In the Jasmine Dragon, this was called the White Lotus Tile.
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 similar appearance of the two plants.
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. Iroh encountered this plant and got poisoned, trying to make it into tea.
Tea made from the white jade bush can be poisonous to the drinker if brewed incorrectly. When Iroh brewed 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, patients may die.. 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.