Friday, July 5, 2013

The Art of Layered Tea

Have you ever heard of 'layered tea'? The first time I heard of it was back in 2011, but I have never seen it firsthand, or tasted it.  The photos below are  five and seven layers, but it exists anywhere from two to seven layers, and the Bangladesh man who mastered seven layers is now working on ten layers! 

[photos courtesy of  Commons.Wikimedia]

In June of 2011 Dawyna Sasse, author of Tea Party Girl blog, shared a link to a Wall Street Journal Blog post about this scientific-like layered tea, also referred to as '7 color tea.'

Mr. Gour [pictured below] is said to have 'invented' this drink twelve years ago.  It took a year of experimenting with the different densities of various tea leaves before he could sell  more than two layers.

An iced, three-layer tea is popular in Malaysia, but it is made with only one type of tea - the bottom layer is palm sugar,  evaporated milk is in the middle, and tea is on top.  

What makes Mr. Gour's layers unique are the discrete layers of tea blends.  He mixes different types of locally grown tea - three black and one green - from four types of bushes, with milk and various spices.  Each mixture has a distinct color and taste and he pours one on top of another to create seven distinct bands.  Amazingly, they don't mix with each other even when standing for 30 minutes. 

[photo courtesy of Wall Street Journal]

His layered tea beverage is served at the Nilkantha Tea Cabin in Srimangal, in northeast Bangladesh, the tea capital of the country.  The seven-layered drink costs the equivalent of $1 in U.S. money, pricey considering most cups of tea in the area cost about .07 cents in U.S. money.

[photo courtesy of Trip Advisor]

Mr. Gour's 'recipe' is a closely guarded secret that he only shares with his three sons and brother.  No one else is allowed in the tea-prepping room.  He has refused to sell the formula to many who have offered to buy it, even for a huge sum of money.

[photo courtesy of Marland Photography Blog]

I have a tea-loving friend who lives in California.  An aficionado of food and beverages is a perfect description of her.  She's taken classes from several highly acclaimed chefs.  A year or so ago she mastered the art of layering tea, so the skill has gone beyond the boundaries of Bangladesh.  She confirmed that it took lots of practice and perseverance, not to mention an enormous amount of time to master the preparation for her own satisfaction and enjoyment.   

I searched but couldn't find any place in the United States that serves layered tea commercially.  If such a place exists, do tell.
Have you ever drank layered tea?  Did you like the taste?


  1. Fascinating! I have heard of this man before. I think I will let him enjoy his expertise and if I am ever in his part of the world I will order some.

  2. Interesting... but I think I'll pass on drinking this one. :-)

  3. I'd never heard of this but it is interesting.

  4. What an art this man has created and I'd be game to try it once.

  5. Beautiful! And news to me.

  6. Fun, fun, fun! I recently saw some red, white and blue layered beverages for the Fourth, but no, layered tea is definitely new to me. And I'd sure like to try some!

  7. Alas, I don't have the patience or the time to try and recreate this specialty. Thanks for sharing the info! I'd be sure to try it if I ever run across it!

  8. It was pathetic. I tasted only water on the first few sips. It took the last couple of layers to actually realise that I was drinking some sort of sweet liquid.

  9. if it can trigger seven layers of mood ...i would love to taste it

  10. I've had this tea and it tastes OK; doesn't blow your mind away or anything in terms of taste. The other, simpler teas found in the area actually taste better, I think.


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