Map: “Tea” if by sea, “Cha” if by land

This map has been making the rounds on Twitter and I found it fascinating. I have often wondered why it is chai in India and chay in Turkish and cha in Chinese. I’d always ignorantly assumed that the the Malays and other Commonwealth countries had adopted the British word tea, yet it is the British that adopted the South East Asian word teh from their colonies. I find the below map interesting not only as a traveler and tea drinker, but also as a student of history and someone interested in markets and trade. The map shows how commerce from hundreds of years ago has shaped our modern language and world.


Quartz created the below map based on data fromĀ here.

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