Along with eating, another thing I thoroughly enjoy when I travel, is sipping on the favorite local hot beverage.
Sitting at my laptop, typing articles or editing videos, I continually need to be fueled by something warm, preferably full of caffeine, and constantly available.
Sometimes I travel with my own coffee and tea, but I normally like to explore and then purchase a stock of whatever is available locally.
Also, enjoying a hot beverage on the street-side, after a tummy full of delicious food, is a great way to top off a meal and let the food digest.
Here are 5 hot beverages I thoroughly enjoyed, in countries that I have visited.
1. Tea in China
After polishing off a greasy and delicious Chinese feast, or while sitting at my laptop, any variety of Chinese tea is one of the finest things to sip on.
Tea plays a major part in the Chinese culture, and there are some serious connoisseurs. You can even have a tea ceremony or a tea tasting session, where you'll get to see the tea master steeping and preparing aromatic natural teas to perfection.
One thing I love about Chinese tea is that all you have to do is pour hot water over the dry leaves, let them steep for a few minutes in a mug, and you're good to go. It's easy to prepare in a hotel room.
2. Chai in India
Another one of the world's most tempting hot beverages is Indian chai.
Black tea is steeped until strong with flavor, then toned down with thick, full-fat milk, and sweetened up with generous amounts of sugar.
Chai on the streets of India is often poured into a cup from high above, so it bubbles up and has a little bit of frothy foam on top.
Always served in small clay cups, that you smash on the ground after you're finished drinking, Kolkata was my favorite place in India to drink chai.
3. Yerba Mate in Argentina and Uruguay
A few days of traveling around, and I was presented with my first opportunity, under the supervision of a couple Argentinians I had befriended, to sample a beverage known as yerba mate – and I fell in love from my first sip!
The leafy dry herb is filled into a gourd cup, steeped in hot water, and sucked out of a metal straw. I soon purchased my own gourd, a thermos for hot water, and carried my mate everywhere I went.
Note: Yerba mate is also popular in Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia, but I have only had a chance to visit Argentina and Uruguay so far.
4. Coffee in Ethiopia
Going to Ethiopia, I was overjoyed to begin drinking the coffee. It didn't take longer than about 5 minutes, just after arriving to my hotel, when I got a full whiff of roasting coffee, and stepped into a tiny shack for a cup. It was awesome.
My entire trip to Ethiopia was fueled by probably the most amount of coffee I've consumed each and every day of my life.
It was affordable and so good every single time. In Ethiopia, both European and traditional Ethiopian style coffee is available.
5. Coffee in Vietnam
Coffee in Vietnam is very different from coffee in Ethiopia. In Vietnam, they have an amazing and flourishing coffee scene, influenced originally by the French, but transformed the Vietnamese way.
Pop a squat at a Vietnamese coffee shop, and you can either get a hot or cold strong black coffee infused with sweetened condensed milk. It's chocolatey, creamy, and sweet, and offers that power shot of energy you need to walk around or get work done.
This is just a sampling of all the wonderful hot beverages available when we travel.
Just about every single country in the world has their own version of a hot beverage, so if you have a favorite, please feel free to leave a comment below!