A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I am the kind of person who really loves stereotyping people. If I stereotyped my self, I would most probably be an “echt chinees” girl — a little bit quiet and drinking tea on a daily basis. Yes, tea! Without the company of tea, my life will be so low; but if I have access to tea, it surely will keep in very high spirits.
My “tea” discoveries in the Netherlands are truly amazing. Before coming to the Netherlands, I thought people would probably prefer coffee, wine, or beer, compared to tea. Yet when I started my first semester at LUC, I met a quite amazing number of Dutchies who love tea and also have tea on a daily basis. Some of them love the original and flavors, others may have a preference in “artificial” fragrances. My lovely friends built up a bridge for me to the wonderland of tea.
The major difference I found, between the Dutch and Chinese tea cultures, is that in China, tea leaves take up a very large portion in terms of popularity; but in the Netherlands, people like tea bags better. To be honest, I prefer tea bags simply due to the fact that it is really time-consuming to clean up those teeny tiny tea leaves. Tea in the form of tea bags here in the Netherlands is so much more diverse than that in China. And here are some of my collections (out-dated version).
1) Strawberry Cupcake Tea
Green tea with a cute aroma of cakes. This is one of my favorites, because it sweetens my heart right away when I drink it. Highly recommended!
2) Blueberry Muffin Tea, Chocolate Tea
(I know they sound weird; Muffin Tea and… Chocolate Tea?!) They’re also in my favorites, but these two black tea. Strawberry Cupcake Tea is for summer, and Blueberry Muffin Tea as well as Chocolate Tea warms up the ultra-long freezing Dutch winter.
3) Yellow Label Tea, Green Tea Jasmine, Green Tea Osmanthus, Green Tea Mint, Huoshan Huangya Tea
These are all originally flavored tea that I kept for high tea with friends. I really recommend the Osmanthus one. It can be bought in Asian supermarkets and tea shops. Huoshan Huangya Tea is from my hometown, and it often kills my homesickness instantly.
4) Strawberry Tea, Strawberry Jasmine Tea, Strawberry Mint Tea,Vanilla Tea, Lemon Pie Tea, Apple Tea, Mango Tea
Fruit garden series! I just realized that maybe it is not a very good choice to rely on artificial flavors. But still, they’re all very good in taste and smell.
5) Digestive Tea, Concentration Tea
Excuse me for not being a productive college student, my readers. I need them in “Reading Week”, a week full of essays, exams, reports, stress, junk food, and weight-gaining.
Some time ago, I celebrated my 19th birthday. Surprisingly, half of the guests that showed up gave me tea as presents. Seeing the expanded tea collection, my friends told me, “wow haha, here is enough tea now. You don’t need to buy any tea until you graduate!”
And this is the up-dated version of my tea collection.
6) Snack Tea
There is no sugar in it, yet it tastes sweet and full. Lovely “snack” for tea lovers.
7) Chinese Vitalize Tea
My bestie knows that this tea rewinds me back into my childhood. This tea is unfortunately not Chinese at all, but it tastes like one of the most famous popsicles (in the last decade) in China. My friend actually spent quite some time looking for it, as it is not a typically flavored tea at all. So this tea means a lot to me, and I actually took it with me during holidays so I can still refresh my connections with friends here.
There are also many other types of tea that I haven’t got time to try yet; if I have any new discoveries, I will surely update it. Let’s get high with tea!
by Xueyan Xing (coming all the way from China; studying at Leiden University College The Hague)