Types of Tea consumed in Middle East
There are many different variants of tea consumed in the Middle East. Arabs prefer the traditional black tea any time of day, however there are modifications done, to make it more flavoursome, and tasty. From a long time back, tea was not only consumed just as a beverage but also as a medicine. Today the numerous teas drunk in households, shops and road-side cafés are working to alleviate thirst and act as herbal potions.
Spices and herbs such as chamomile, anise, thyme, cinnamon, cardamom, and mint are added to the customary black tea, which is also termed “aḥmar” meaning “red” tea. Dried lime and hibiscus are also common infusions.
Out of these, chamomile is known to reduce stress, and improve sleep; thyme is known to enhance memory; cardamom tea is drunk prior to meals so the enzymes helping digestion are at their optimum. Maghrebi mint tea is a green tea generally drunk in Morocco and neighbouring regions. There is also another ‘general’ mint tea which is used as a medicine for colds, allergies and sore throats.
Sage tea is another popular version of tea served subsequent to a meal, to help with digestion. The “masala” tea found in India exists in the Middle East as “Karak” tea. It is a tea mixed with spices. However prepared, tea was, is, and will remain the most popular drink in the Middle East.