Tuareg – a treasure from the Sahel

Green tea, refreshing mint and sugar are the basic ingredients of the Tuareg or Touareg drink. It got its name from the nomadic tribe of the strong Tuaregs, who drank this drink on the hot desert sand. It is prepared by the head of the family as a sign of hospitality, and its preparation is almost a ceremony. Let yourself be drawn into the world of interesting information with this wild and popular tea.

Tuareg tea

Tuareg tea is a typical African-Arab warm drink, which consists of high-quality green tea Gunpowder (pearl tea - about which you can read more in an article on our blog) and Moroccan mint flavored with sugar. This blend is the basis of the tea culture of the Berber, nomadic Tuareg tribe. This drink has a fundamental position in social life and is served as a welcome. It is almost rude to refuse it.

Despite the fact that in their culture, women are responsible for taking care of the household, the preparation of tea is the domain of men, who offer it to guests as a sign of hospitality. Serving it is essentially a ceremony. Traditionally, tea is served three times. The maceration time gives each glass a unique taste, which is described by a Maghreb proverb:

'The first glass is bitter as life, the second is sweet as love, the third is light as the breath of death.'

Tradiční příprava čaje Touareg / Tuareg
Zdroj: www.cajovebedynky.cz/

What is Gunpowder Green Tea?

Gunpowder tea is one of the most famous Chinese green teas, and is the most popular type of green tea worldwide.

Its name is due to its leaves, which are wrapped in dark green to grayish grains of various sizes that resemble grains of gunpowder. After being poured over with hot water, the grains develop into surprisingly large and whole leaves.

Čaj gunpowder neboli střelný prach
Source: www.cajovebedynky.cz

Preparation of Tuareg tea

Traditionally, Tuareg tea is brewed in a kettle over hot coals. It is poured into small glasses from a height to allow the loose Gunpowder tea leaves to swirl at the bottom. This slightly aerates the tea and makes it taste better.

Another basic ingredient is the addition of Moroccan mint (nana), which gives the tea a pleasant fresh taste. Compared to classic peppermint, it is softer and not so penetrating and expressive. It is most often served in a glass together with cane sugar or honey.

The tea is then poured from the glass back into the teapot two or three times to mix the tea again. It is sweetened again as needed. The flavor of the brew is fully developed after pouring again, and each glass tastes really different.

Tradiční příprava čaje Touareg / Tuareg
Source: www.cajovebedynky.cz

A jump into the past

Tuareg tea is also known as Maghreb mint tea. The name refers to the fact that it is typical of the Greater Maghreb region (countries in northwest Africa, i.e. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania). The tradition of drinking tea was spread to Morocco in the 18th century by the English, who brought green tea to the locals. It gained great popularity and over time the inhabitants associated it with the Moroccan nana mint.

The first description of the Moroccan tea ceremony dates back to the 1840s. In the following decades, the Tuareg gradually spread throughout North Africa. Over time, it became central to Moroccan social life. Moroccans are very hospitable people and welcome guests to their home by offering tea. The presentation of mint tea to guests thus often takes a festive form. Mint tea has made Morocco one of the most important tea trading countries.

Let yourself be awakened...

Tuareg is a really strong and invigorating green tea that will appeal to tea beginners as well as experienced tea drinkers. In Morocco, this drink is considered a dessert tea, however, in addition to desserts, it is also served with lamb or fruit salads. It is drunk significantly sweetened and is therefore a good source of energy. In cold weather, instead of mint, other herbs are added to green tea, such as wormwood, which has a warming effect.

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