GIVEAWAY DAY 9: North Africa

GIVEAWAY DAY 9: North Africa

In Northern Africa, tea is an expression of conviviality and hospitality. Tea was brought by the English in the 19th century, although some accounts describe tea arriving as early as the 17th century from Persia. Green tea became adopted into rich cultures in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania and especially Morocco – known for the famous Moroccan Mint Tea.

In Morocco the appropriate time for tea is simply whenever the occasion calls for a cup of tea - often several times through the day. The tea of choice is the beautifully perfumed Gunpowder - named for the small pellet-like appearance of the rolled tea leaves, with fresh mint. This tea is the customary way to welcome guests, often automatically served in restaurants, and enjoyed before negotiation or commerce. Shopkeepers may offer tea to those who browse their offerings, and certainly when a purchase is ready to be made. There is little hurry to do much of anything in Morocco until after tea. Since tea serves as an extension of good humour and connection, if you plan to speak with someone seriously about any matter, you first invite them for tea!

Even in the humblest of places, tea service involves intricate brewing methods passed down through generations. It is traditional to pour the tea from a silver teapot into small colourful glasses from a significant height, creating a delightful foam - indicating the tea has been perfectly brewed. If no foam appears, the tea will be poured back to continue steeping. Tea is ceremoniously served three times per sitting, each cup offering unique flavor and symbolism: the first cup represents life, the second is a symbol of love, and the third acknowledges that all must come to an end.

Tea is enjoyed hot year-round, even in the Desert, although it does make an excellent iced tea as well! Westholme blends two recipes directly inspired by lively North African tea culture. Our ‘Morocco’ offers a simple blend of traditional Gunpowder and Mint, and ‘Sweet Morocco’ highlights the Moroccan tendency to add additional sweetness and aromatic herbs to their brew. Everyday teas to connect with everyday life in Morocco!

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