Mali and Mauritania tea ritual is common throughout North Africa. The tea that is used is typically Chinese green tea. The tea is brewed over coals and then poured into another pot. It is poured back and forth and then into glasses. Then again from glass to glass. Typically this happens from a great height above the pot or glass to aerate the tea and create a frothy foam on top. It is a true art form and takes quite a bit of practice to get it just right. It is also a slow process, the ritual can sometimes take hours. Both in Mali and Mauritania it is often made and served by the man of the house. After the first glass, mint is added as is copious amounts of sugar. Like a full cup of sugar. It is supposed to be really really sweet. Muslims do not drink alcohol and some believe the sugar creates a high and sometimes it is called desert whisky. There is a saying that first glass is bitter like life, the second strong like love and the third gentle like death. If you have your own tea ritual or are ever invited, proper etiquette says you should slurp your tea loudly and every drop should be enjoyed. It is the ultimate form of hospitality when tea is shared. Enjoy a little Mali and Mauritania tea ritual.
Mali and Mauritania Tea Ritual
- 4 Tablespoons green tea
- 12 cups water
- 2 cups sugar or more
- 4 sprigs mint
- 2 tea pots and 5 glasses
- In a tea pot boil water with green tea leaves
- once boiled pour tea from one pot to the other several times
- Then from a great height above the glasses pour one glass and then continue pouring from glass to glass until a frothy foam appears, put the pot back on the fire and add in mint leaves and sugar. Repeat the process until each guest had three cups of tea.
- Serve with dates