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Preparing Tea in the Tuareg Style

    Tea was introduced to the Tuareg society at the beginning of the twentieth century through Arab-Muslim influence (trade). During your trip to the Algerian Sahara, you will have the opportunity to discover the famous Tuareg tea ritual and the generosity of the Berber people. The tea ceremonial is a way to show the Tuareg hospitality and a pretext to chat with the visiting visitor. During nights that are illuminated by a crackling fire and delicious tea, they will tell you the tales and legends that have passed through the centuries. The first thing to know is that preparing tea in the Tuareg way takes time. Each tea is unique, according to a large number of parameters, that’s to say in order to get a good taste, for instance, the green tea should be of a very good quality (finer and elongated grains)…etc.
   To prepare tea in the Tuareg way, first of all you need to heat water. Then, put in a teapot about a small glass and a half of green tea. Pour the hot water over and pour the first mixture into the container. Replenish water and put to heat on embers .Let it infuse until the grains open. Add sugar, lots of sugar in another teapot .Then pour the first mixture over it. Return to heat. Then the aeration of the tea begins with the big glass. It is poured, poured, reversed and re-sealed until the mixture is well foamed. During the last mixture, a little foam is left. After having arranged the glasses in a metal tray, the ritual begins. With a skilful gesture, the Tuareg man sprinkles the precious liquid. The more he raises the teapot, the more the tea becomes sparkling. He first puts a small amount of it at the bottom of a glass to taste it and then fills them all three-quarters of the glasses to serve the people around him. It must be drunk slowly to honor the preparer .The first tea is very strong and is never given to children. Also, they add some natural mint leaves because it gives the tea a remarkable power and freshness.
     It is customary to drink three cups of tea in succession in recognition and politeness. It consumes very hot and very sweet. Refusing a tea or not drinking the three teas is deemed rude. According to the Tuareg traditions, the tea is served three times; the first tea would be bitter like life, the second would be sweet as love and the last would be suave like death. The Tuareg man never separates from his teapot, wherever he goes.

Preparing Tea in the Tuareg Style written by ARAB Sabrina.


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