In North Africa the so-called Thé à la menthe, Oriental tea with Nana mint, is the most drunk drink and thus the national drink of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. When family and friends meet, offering this sugar-sweet tea is an important social ritual. It is simply the epitome of oriental hospitality to have a glass of tea with your guests. This tradition is an expression of warmth and cordiality. It is astonishing that the preparation of tea in North Africa is the task of men.
Pleasant atmosphere by drinking tea in the souk
Also in the souks of Marrakesh or Tunis it is a typical tea culture that a merchant offers you a glass of Oriental tea as a sign of his hospitality. By the way, it is considered rude and insulting to refuse this offer. So take up the offer, sit back and enjoy this sugar-sweet tea. For us Europeans the tea may be a little too sweet at the beginning, but this sweetness simply belongs to oriental tea. A pleasant atmosphere is created by drinking tea together and having some small talk. Only after that it goes to the price negotiation. Also at the arrival in a hotel it is usual that you as a guest of the house are first served a glass of tea with pastries in the lobby.
Tea unfolds its unique taste by being poured several times.
By the way, Thé à la menthe is green tea from China, which is enriched with a lot of sugar and aromatic Nana mint. Sometimes cardamom or ginger is added. The host serves the tea in an oriental pot on a tray with colored tea glasses. The tea ceremony involves pouring the tea several times from the jug into a glass in a high arc and pouring it back several times in front of the guests. In this way oxygen is added to the tea; in this way the tea can develop its unique taste. The tea is not ready to serve until a foam crown has formed on the tea.
Traditionally some Arabs drink three glasses of tea, because an Arabic proverb says: ‚The first glass is as bitter as life, the second glass is as strong as love, the third glass is as gentle as death‘.
Drink hot tea in hot weather
Did you know that people in such hot and dry countries drink tea to cool off? Yes, that’s right. Because if you drink cold drinks in the heat, your body first has to heat the liquid up to body temperature again. I myself was amazed when I instinctively made tea this summer at 35 degrees. The hotter the day, the warmer you should drink your drinks.
But even when the cold season is here again, a glass of oriental tea, served in a beautiful tea glass, is a welcome change from coffee. The tea will not only warm you, but also your soul. There is danger that longing for a journey to the Orient awakens…