The World in Your Cup

Tea and Coffee | What the World Drinks


Breakfast tea being passed between cars on the railway
between Peshawar and Lahore, Pakistan


If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of
understanding truth and beauty. 

– Japanese Proverb


INDIA-10582NFTea seller carries kettle in monsoon water, Porbandar, India


AFGHN-10028NF5 Kamdesh, Afghanistan


The earliest record of tea consumption were in China with records dating back to the 10th century B.C.E.


AFGHN-12350NF Maimana, Afghanistan 



We haven’t had any tea for a week.
The bottom is out of the Universe.
– Rudyard Kipling


 TIBET-10567Kham, Tibet


BANGLADESH-10015Tea Estate, Bangladesh


You can never get a cup of tea large enough
or a book long enough to suit me. 
– C.S. Lewis


SRILANKA-10072Tea tasting, Colombo, Sri Lanka





 Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.
 –  Turkish Proverb


TURKEY-10003NFIstanbul, Turkey


It is believed that the earliest use of coffee was in Ethiopia. 
It spread to Yemen by the fifteenth century, and to the rest of the
Middle East, Turkey, Persia, North Africa and then to
Europe and the Americas.


IRAQ-10033nsMen enjoy tobacco and thimblefuls of thick, bitter coffee in Baghdad, Iraq


HONDURAS-10006NF3La Fortuna, Honduras


BRAZIL-10011NF9Lombari, Brazil


COLOMBIA-10005NFCoffee harvesting, Colombia




  The powers of a man’s mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks.
– Sir James Mackintosh

BRAZIL-10014NF8, Lavazza, Brazil, 08/2010Brazil


Ah! How sweet coffee tastes!

Lovelier than a thousand kisses,

sweeter far than muscatel wine!

I must have my coffee.

–  Johann Sebastian Bach
Kaffee Kantate

SOUTH_AFRICA-10003Capetown, South Africa



INDIA-11023Shekhar Kapur, Film Director and Producer, Mumbai, India 


No one can understand the truth until he drinks of
coffee’s frothy goodness. 

Sheik Abd-al-Kadir






Steve McCurry in L’Aquila, Italy
Photo by Claudio Marcozzi/Photoland


Istanbul, Turkey
August 2 – September 4, 2011

47 Responses to “The World in Your Cup”

  1. the common moment of different people… nice shot.

  2. […] Tea and thinking #1 was also shot from the hip. And find more awesome tea-related photos here too. LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", […]

  3. […] short quotes.  His photographs drips of humanity and renders a strong sense of place and theme.  The World in Your Cup: Tea and Coffee, What World drinks is a great example of his […]

  4. Oh! I have just saw your blog and great photos. Maybe it is a bit late but if you need some help in istanbul, just send me an e mail.

    Deniz Ciftci / Istanbul

  5. Joymalyadas Says:

    Absolutely viewers delight .

  6. […] Terror Attack in Norway  (photography ) The world in Your Cup 30 Challenges for 30 Days في قلب أدغال فيتنام: كهف الأكبر في […]

  7. Thank you for the picture in Aquila, our beautiful lost city…

  8. Hi Steve, how long will you stay in Turkey, can we see you in Istanbul Modern museum in these days?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Nice candid for the last picture! Haha!

  10. I love your work. I first came familiar with it when we framed a traveling exhibition of yours by the George Eastman House a few years ago. Glad to see you have a blog. I’ve signed up for a RSS feed.

  11. Hi Steve,

    After unguarded moment, which subject will you be covering in your next book?


  12. another great series of photos!

  13. […] McCurry has pictures of the world in your cup. I love this quote: Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.  -Turkish […]

  14. These are beautiful. It’s fascinating to learn the history behind these iconic drinks…and the last shot was quite charming!:)

  15. Liani Maria de Sant'Ana Says:

    Tea and Coffee…..taste better when you know their background!

  16. Janet Wininger Says:

    Beautiful work. I especially like the first two. I am pretty sure if I could have one last drink, it would be a steaming cup of chai. :)

  17. This is a truly inspiring and amazing series of images. Something so simple as the ritual of coffee and tea drinking has been lifted to another level.

  18. Great collection Steve.regards

  19. Every single time you just keep surprising all of us with your beautiful Photographs…thanks for being such an inspiration…god bless

  20. wonderful shots!!

  21. suresh Says:

    India is a paradise for photographers ,every 100 km the life style is changing ..! this mixture of civilization ,may be one of the oldest, is still wondering photographers..some photographers have not yet covered it properly

  22. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    “Tea seller Porbandar India”- I could imagine you too standing in the flood water. Every picture here above touches….like the creator (photographer) is in touch with the whole atmosphere… how beautiful the simplicity looks !
    Thanks for sharing.

  23. I love every single shot! I’ve been following your photography for several years now. Thank you!

    I just started my own blog with photographs of my travels.
    Please check it out:

  24. I enjoyed the cultural differences between tea and coffee, east and west, yet also the same integrity in the love of both!!!!!

  25. I have my world this morning.. is sweet and its tea:)

  26. Steve,

    As power and as inspiring as always! You are great! I like the way you render the world around!

    Keep shooting man! You’re truly inspiring!

  27. Indeed, very interesting.

  28. proud to be part of your wonderful journey and with lots of respect, shekhar kapur

  29. Anonymous Says:

    hello steve, proud to be part of these wonderful journeys of yours, with lots of respect for you, shekhar kapur

  30. All are amazing, especially like the expression of girl in “Kamdesh, Afghanistan” photograph.

    Thanks for sharing:)

  31. What pleasures. Love the series. Thank you for showing the world through your wonderful photographs.

    tweeted from @mayank211
    The World in Your Cup: Have you had your morning tea. So did the world. From the lens of Steve, great series. #togs

  32. The first picture is my all time favorite ! One of the best from you. Other pictures are also great as allows.

  33. I love the last one for its possible implied humor, if these were taken to be the model’s hands…to take nothing away from the loveliness of the other works.

  34. Your arts always make me inspiration, I can learn a lot from them. Thanks for sharing your experience through images with us.

  35. Mr. McCurry,
    I love your art, from every angle. Thank you for sharing it all so freely. I hope I have the honor to meet you one day. Cheers, Mick

  36. Qualitative quotes, contrasting colours, sympathetic subjects, legendary locations…….wonderful.

  37. Four passions all right here: coffee, tea, photography, and Steve McCurry…!

  38. Caro sr Steve
    Cada vez que recebo um email informando que houve um novo post em seu blog fico extramente curioso para saber qual o tema sera abordado e é sempre supreendente, Alem de as fotos serem fantasticas estou sempre aprendendo algo novo sobre cultura distantes e neste caso, um habito que é mundial , o café , considerada a bebida mais ingerida em todo mundo.
    abraço e muito obrigado, um dia ainda terei a oporutnidade de conhece-lo pessoalmente
    abraços do Brazil

  39. Great, happy and colourful shots! Bravo!
    kind regards,

  40. the first one is amazing…

  41. These are wonderful shots . . wish I could have gone along:)

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