How Do You Say Tea in Spanish?






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Tea is one of the most consumed beverages around the world. It has been enjoyed for centuries for its taste and numerous health benefits. As the global demand for tea increases, it is important to be able to communicate its name in different languages. Spanish is a widely spoken language with over 500 million speakers worldwide. If you are looking to add this language to your communication skills, you might be wondering how to say tea in Spanish. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say tea in Spanish depending on the context, geographic location, and cultural practices. Whether you are a tea enthusiast, a traveler, or a language learner, this article will equip you with the knowledge to confidently order your favorite tea in Spanish. So, let’s dive into the world of tea and Spanish language.

History of Tea in Spain


Tea, a beverage that originated in China, has become a popular drink worldwide. Spain, which was once a major colonial power, has had a long history with tea. Today we will dive into the history of tea in Spain and how it became an essential part of Spanish culture.

The Arrival of Tea in Spain

Tea made its way to Europe through trade routes established by the Dutch East India Company. The first recorded shipment of tea to Europe was sent from China to Holland in 1610. It wasn’t until the 17th century that tea reached Spain when Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza married King Charles II and brought her love for tea to the court.

The Rise of Tea Culture

The consumption of tea grew rapidly within Spanish upper-class society during the late 17th century. By this time, many wealthy Spaniards had acquired exotic goods from their colonies such as porcelain teapots and cups from China and Japan. Drinking tea became a symbol of wealth and status as it was an expensive commodity only accessible to those who could afford it.

The Influence on Spanish Society

As drinking tea spread throughout society, various adaptations were made for different times and occasions. In Andalusia, churros are often served with hot chocolate or café con leche (coffee with milk). However, they are also enjoyed with tè (tea) during breakfast or merienda (snack time) across other parts of Spain.

Throughout its long history in Spanish culture, there have been some significant milestones that helped shape its popularity today:


La Merienda

La Merienda is one such milestone where people come together for light refreshments before dinner; sometimes referred to as “Afternoon Tea.” Merienda can be sweet or savoury food items paired up with Té (tea).

Té de la tarde

Té de la tarde was popularized by Queen Victoria and is often served in elegant hotels across Spain. It is an afternoon tea with small sandwiches, pastries, and scones.

Spanish Flavours

Spanish culture has blended its local flavours to make a unique take on the classic beverage. A common flavour addition to tea in Spain is lemon or “limón.”

Tea Drinking Culture in Spanish-Speaking Countries


Argentina is known for its love of “mate,” a herbal drink made from the leaves of yerba mate plant, which is native to South America. Mate is traditionally served in a hollowed-out gourd with a metal straw called “bombilla.” It is often shared among friends and family and enjoyed throughout the day.


In Mexico, “té de canela” or cinnamon tea is popular during cold winter months. The traditional way of making this tea involves steeping cinnamon sticks in boiling water with sugar added to taste. It’s often consumed as an after-dinner drink or during breakfast time.


As previously mentioned, Spain has had a long history with tea dating back centuries when it was introduced by Portuguese Princess Catherine de Braganza. Today it remains an integral part of Spanish culture with various adaptations made for different regions and times of day.

Afternoon Tea

Té de la tarde” or afternoon tea originated from British influence on Spanish society and became popularized by Queen Victoria. It’s typically served in elegant hotels across Spain with small sandwiches, pastries, and scones.

La Merienda

La Merienda refers to light refreshments before dinner; sometimes referred to as “Afternoon Tea.” Merienda can be sweet or savoury food items paired up with Té (tea).

Flavour Additions

A common flavour addition to tea in Spain is lemon or “limón.”


In Colombia, “agua de panela con limón” or lemon panela water is commonly consumed instead of tea. Panela is an unrefined cane sugar that is boiled down into a solid block and then grated or shaved to be used in various drinks. Lemon panela water consists of panela, lemon juice, and hot water.


In Cuba, “café con leche” or coffee with milk is a popular beverage; however, they also consume “té de menta” or mint tea. Mint tea is made by steeping fresh mint leaves in boiling water with sugar added to taste.

Common Words for Tea in Spanish

“Té” is the most commonly used word for tea across all Spanish-speaking countries. It’s a direct translation of the English word “tea.” When ordering at a restaurant, you can simply say “té, por favor.”


Mate is an herbal drink made from the leaves of yerba mate plant and is native to South America. It’s not technically considered tea as it doesn’t come from Camellia sinensis plant, which produces black and green teas; however, it’s often referred to as “tea” due to its popularity and similarities in preparation methods.


“Infusión” refers to any hot drink made by steeping herbs or fruits in boiling water; this includes herbal teas such as chamomile or peppermint. However, when referring specifically to Camellia sinensis-based teas like black or green tea – té would be more appropriate.


“Tisana” refers specifically to herbal teas that are not made with Camellia sinensis plant leaves but rather with other herbs such as chamomile or mint.

Te Negro / Te Verde / Te Blanco

Te negro (black tea), te verde (green tea), and te blanco (white tea) are specific types of teas made from Camellia sinensis plant leaves that have been processed differently resulting in distinct flavours and caffeine levels.

Black Tea

Black Tea has gone through an extensive oxidation process before being dried which results in its dark colour. It has high caffeine content compared with Green Tea but less than Coffee.

Green Tea

Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, giving it a lighter colour and more delicate flavour than black tea. It has less caffeine than Black Tea.

White Tea

White tea is the least processed of the three teas, which gives it a light and delicate flavour. It has lower levels of caffeine than both Black Tea and Green Tea.


“Hierbas” refers to any drink made from herbs such as chamomile or peppermint that are not Camellia sinensis-based teas.

Regional Variations in Tea Terminology


In Andalusia, “té de limón” (lemon tea) is popular and often served with churros during breakfast or merienda.


In Valencia, “infusión” is more commonly used than “té,” especially when referring to herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint.

Latin America

Latin America has its unique variations of tea terminology:


In Mexico, “té de canela” (cinnamon tea), and “manzanilla” (chamomile) are popular herbal teas.

Argentina & Uruguay

Mate is a highly popular drink made from yerba mate leaves that have been steeped in hot water and served through a metal straw called bombilla. It’s not technically considered tea but often referred to as such due to similarities in preparation methods.


Colombians refer to black tea as “té negro,” while green tea is referred to as either “té verde” or simply by the brand name such as Lipton Green Tea.

Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean islands also have their unique terminologies for tea:


Cubans refer to black tea as either “Té” or “te negro,” while mint-flavoured teas are known locally as “manzanilla.”

Puerto Rico

Puerto Ricans call black iced sweetened ‘tea‘ brewed from hibiscus flowers “Hibiscus Tea” or “Agua de Jamaica.”

South America

South America has its unique terminologies for tea:


In Brazil, black tea is called “chá preto,” while green tea is referred to as “chá verde.”


Peruvians refer to black tea as “té” or “te negro,” while mint-flavoured teas are known locally as “manzanilla.”

Learning Spanish Words for Tea through Immersion

Ordering at Cafés and Restaurants

One of the most significant benefits of immersion is being able to order tea at local cafés and restaurants. This helps learners practice their speaking skills while also learning regional variations of tea terminology.

Visiting Local Markets

Visiting local markets can be a great way to immerse oneself in the culture while learning new vocabulary. Tea leaves or herbal blends are often sold at these markets, providing an opportunity to learn specific names for teas.

Participating in Tea Ceremonies

Many cultures have specific rituals around preparing and drinking tea, such as mate ceremonies or afternoon teas. Participating in these ceremonies not only provides an opportunity to practice speaking skills but also allows learners to understand cultural significance behind different types of teas.

Taking Language Classes

Taking structured language classes while immersed in a foreign country provides an excellent opportunity for learners to practice their conversational skills with native speakers. These classes may include lessons on common phrases used when ordering tea or discussing different types of teas found regionally.

Watching TV Shows & Movies

Watching TV shows and movies produced locally can help one pick up new vocabulary related to food, drinks including names of various types of beverages like coffee, mate or tisana which refers specifically herbal based drinks that are not made with Camellia sinensis plant leaves like mint or chamomile-based infusions## FAQs

What is the proper way to say tea in Spanish?

The proper way to say tea in Spanish is “té.” It is pronounced as “tay” with the accent mark on the letter “e.” This is a commonly used word in the Spanish language that refers to any type of tea, including herbal teas and different tea blends. In Spanish-speaking countries, tea is a popular beverage consumed in the morning or throughout the day.

Is there any other word for tea in Spanish?

Apart from “té,” there are a few other words in Spanish that are used to refer to tea, depending on the region and style of the tea. Some other words used for tea in Spanish include “infusión,” which refers to an infusion or steeped drink, “mate,” which is a type of tea from South America, and “tisanas,” which are herbal teas.

Can you give an example of how to use the word tea in a sentence in Spanish?

Of course! An example of a sentence using the word “té” in Spanish is: “Me gusta tomar té con limón por la mañana.” This translates to “I like to drink tea with lemon in the morning.” This sentence is a common way to say that you enjoy drinking tea and prefer it with a specific addition.

How do you spell tea in Spanish?

The correct way to spell tea in Spanish is “té.” Like most Spanish words, “té” is spelled phonetically, which means the letters and sounds match up closely. To spell it, start with the letter “t,” followed by an accent mark over the letter “e.” Finally, add the letter “e” after the accent mark. This creates the proper spelling of the word for tea in Spanish.

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