TEA DESTINATIONS – THE ARABIC TEA CULTURE – Welcome to Tea destinations where we take you on a journey to learn about Tea Culture around the world! For centuries tea has been a traditional way of bringing people together for social or business gatherings. The Arab culture enjoys drinking hot tea and serves it to their guests as a way to show their hospitality and friendship. Hot tea is served with meals and throughout the day. Traditionally women prepare the meals but men take pride in preparing the tea for their guests. Tea is served at a minimum of three servings and each serving has a meaning of life, love and death.
A variety of teas are enjoyed; the Black Tea is commonly served strong with lots of sugar and it is poured in tall glasses. Cardamom, mint or a little milk can be added. The Moroccan mint tea also called Maghrebi mint tea is a green tea with mint leaves is also a favorite. Mint tea is often used as a ceremonial tea especially when prepared for guests.
ARAB CULTURE & ETIQUETTE:
- In the Arab culture it is customary to shake the hands of all males that are present, but you should not grip their hands too firmly.
- It is important to first establish respect and trust.
- If it is a business gathering, refreshments are started before business is conducted.
- It is courteous to offer snack foods to visitors and accept what is offered to you as a guest, but only after modestly refusing the first offer.
- When tea is offered it is bad manners to not accept it.
- When you are offered a beverage you should accept it with the right hand ONLY!
- Not eating everything on one’s plate is considered a compliment; it is a sign of wealth when an Arab can afford to leave food behind.
- If you are invited to their home, you should leave shortly after dinner since dinner is the highlight of the conversation.
- Conversations should not consist of politics, religion, alcohol or men and women relationships.
ENJOY YOUR TEA EXPERIENCE!
About the Author: Sharon “Lady Tea” Levy, CEO & founder of Taking Tea InStyle.