The 7 Most Delicious Teas In Arab
The Arab world is largely obsessed with teas and kahwas. From traditional Arabic teas to foreign-adopted brews, the population in the Emirates has grown a habit to sip on teas daily. As most countries in Arab are Muslim, they’ve found an alternative to what is called the “Western drinking culture.”
Arabic tea leaves originate within the Arabian peninsula. Over the years, the tea culture in the Emirates has also evolved to include Karak teas, herbal teas, and coffees in their tea menu. Not only do these teas taste great, but they also offer a number of health benefits as well.
A common question people ask is if Arabic tea is healthy. The simple answer is, yes. A number of Arabic teas are known across the globe for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and energizing properties, such as black tea, Karak tea, and mint tea.
The most commonly consumed tea in the UAE is Arabic black tea, but there are a lot of other varieties that have joined the club in recent years. Green tea and cardamom tea have also gained much attention over the years due to the calming effects and immune support they offer.
The Most Commonly Sipped Teas In The Middle East
Arab countries have developed a notable profile around the world in terms of teas. In fact, the tea culture has become so prevalent that the UAE has become the largest tea re-exporter of tea leaves in the world. Tea arrived in the Middle East via Silk Road, somewhere around the nineteenth century.
This has resulted in the growth of some of the best Arabic tea brands in the region. You can have a sip of these teas in the morning or at night, however, you please. The taste and sensation are sure to bring you an incomparable feeling of contentment.
Here is a list of the most popular and tongue-pleasing Arabic teas.
1. Hibiscus Tea:
The perfect tea to sip on in the summers, hibiscus tea is also frequently referred to as the “choice of the Pharaohs.” It is a refreshing herbal blend that delivers the feeling of relaxation and calm at the very first sip.
Dried hibiscus flowers are boiled until they loosen their extracts into the water, to create this delicious and refreshing tea. It is considered one of the favorites and best Arabic teas by the locals.
Traditional Serving Method Of Hibiscus Tea:
Hibiscus tea is served after gracious sweetening with sugar. It is brewed into a pot before being transferred into a kettle.
Serve table sugar separately, so guests can add their desired amount to the tea. The sweetness of honey, table sugar, or artificial sugar works great to enhance the natural flavor of hibiscus tea.
Benefits Of Hibiscus Tea:
- Hibiscus tea supports the production of antioxidant enzymes, resulting in reduced effects of harmful radicals on the body. (1)
- It helps reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Those who drink hibiscus tea daily undergo a significant systolic BP drop. (2)
- If this tea is consumed daily, it results in an increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and a decrease in total cholesterol level, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).
- Hibiscus extract protects the liver against damage. (3)
- Hibiscus tea extract helps reduce weight in obese patients. (3)
- An anti-bacterial tea that can help fight off certain bacterial infections. (4)
2. Cardamom Tea:
Cardamom tea is known for its strong taste and pleasant aroma. It is now largely desired and consumed in the Arab world. It brings back the nostalgia from the ancient tea varieties like Earl Grey, Ceylon Black, and Darjeeling that incorporated cardamom and rose in the recipe. Today, it is served as an individual tea and is often presented with honey for a sweet kick.
Cardamom is quite an expensive spice that is handpicked by the Arab harvesters to craft this delicious tea. This tea is often taken before a meal to release enzymes that ensure optimal absorption of nutrients in the body.
Traditional Serving Method Of Cardamom Tea:
A samovar is often used to keep the cardamom tea leaves warm. The tea is served by pouring the brew directly from the kettle into the cup. You can top up the water to adjust the tea strength according to your personal taste. Now place a cube of sugar in between your teeth, and start sipping.
Benefits Of Cardamom Tea:
- Cardamom tea helps with a sore throat, infections, and other irritable health conditions.
- It has high potassium which helps control blood pressure in high BP patients. It lowers the chances of developing diseases such as heart attack, atherosclerosis, and stroke. (5)
- It helps keep cholesterol and blood sugar under control. (6)
- The use of cardamom seeds in tea wards off bad breath. (7)
- Cardamom works as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, which makes it a suitable and effective cure for period cramps (8)
3. Chamomile Tea:
Chamomile tea is the first choice for people with sleeping issues. It helps to relax the brain and muscles, allowing the person to shrug off their anxiety. The tea is brewed with dried chamomile flowers and does not contain any caffeine. The golden brown brew is super relaxing and helps soothe subtle muscle pains as well.
The Arab world has also adopted this tea that first originated in Egypt. It is served as a post-meal or evening tea.
Traditional Method Of Serving Chamomile Tea:
The tea is prepared and served in a cup and saucer. After the water boils, the tea is covered and left in the kettle for a while, so it can absorb the extracts sufficiently. It is then strained into separate tea cups and served to guests steaming hot. Do not forget to swirl it before presenting it.
Pro Tip: A dollop of honey in chamomile goes a long way in improving the taste of this brew.
Benefits Of Cardamom Tea:
- It helps reduce symptoms of insomnia and helps you feel sleepy. (9)
- It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce signs of inflammatory diseases. (10)
- Prevents bowel diseases like ulcers by reducing stomach acidity and bacterial growth. (11)
- It can also be used to soothe the irritability of a sore throat. (9)
- Supports bone health and prevents conditions, such as osteoporosis or other diseases that cause bone loss. (9)
4. Mint Tea:
In Arabic, mint tea is called الشاي بالنعناع, pronounced as, aš-šhāy bin-na’nā. The traditional Arabic mint tea infuses green tea leaves with the freshness of mint. The classic blend makes up one of the most favorite brews of the Middle Eastern population.
Mint tea is a great afternoon tea that is refreshing and relaxing at the same time. Some restaurants also make mint tea blends with peppermint, green tea, etc. to add more diversity to this already pleasant tea recipe.
Traditional Method Of Serving Mint Tea:
The preparation is started after proper rinsing, swirling, and straining of the mint leaves. The strength of the tea is defined by how long the mint leaves were strained. A little sugar and honey can also be added before serving.
A mint tea leaf floating at the top of the cup further enhances the aura of this tea. The kettle is kept at a significant height while pouring to ensure optimal aeration of the tea.
Benefits Of Mint Tea:
- Supports gastrointestinal health by relaxing the intestinal tissues. (12)
- Helps improve airflow in the nasal area, which is why it can be good for a blocked nose.
- Contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and vitamin C.
- May be effective in limiting diseases caused by oxidative stress. (13)
5. Karak Tea:
Karak chai is the only Arabic tea with milk in it. While it was originally developed in the Indian subcontinent, it is now widely served at social gatherings in the United Arab Emirates as well.
Following the traditional method of preparation, Arabs also put milk in this tea. The “Karak” in this tea represents the strong character and flavor of Karak tea. It is a sweet and creamy blend that is cooked for about 10-15 minutes to give it a gorgeous pinkish-brown texture.
Karak tea is made of black tea leaves, which are simmered in water before the addition of milk. Some people also add masalas, such as cardamom, saffron, and black pepper in it to improvise a diversified taste.
Traditional Serving Method Of Karak Tea:
Karak tea is served in one of two ways. It is either served as a milk, sugar, and tea blend or as separate elements. In the latter, the tea brew comes in a kettle, which can be added to the cup. The milk is then poured to turn it into a gorgeous golden color. After that, the table sugar is mixed and stirred with a spoon.
Sip slowly as the tea is served hot and steaming.
Benefits Of Karak Tea:
- Regular intake of Karak tea can help improve digestive function and gut health.
- The addition of cardamom in Karak tea makes it an immunity booster.
- The spices added to cardamom tea give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. (14) These properties help fight against inflammatory diseases and unsteady heart rate.
- The caffeine in this tea gives you a kick of energy and improves your concentration. (15, 19)
- The spices help relieve the symptoms of flu and cough.
- It can also improve metabolism in healthy and obese individuals. (15)
6. Green Tea:
Green tea is one of the most popular teas in the Middle East. It is made from the leaves of the plant called Camellia Sinensis. Green tea is different from oolong and black tea as it has not been oxidated. The leaves and buds of this tea came from China originally, but are now widely produced and utilized in Arab and East Asia as well.
Traditional Serving Method For Green Tea:
The cup in which green tea is brewed is also the cup it is served in.
A porcelain cup with a lid is the ideal serving pot for this type of tea. The tea is served at a temperature that is not scorching hot. It is brewed and then covered for a few minutes before being served.
Benefits Of Green Tea:
- Green tea helps reduce weight by burning body fat. (16, 17)
- EGCG in green tea is a compound that carries medicinal and therapeutic characteristics. (18)
- Caffeine in green tea improves mood, concentration, memory, and reflexes. (19)
- Green tea also reduces body fat by improving the metabolic rate. (20)
- Contains antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage, which may prevent cancer. (21)
7. Black Tea:
Arabs put quality Camellia sineses leaves in their tea. The leaves are handpicked and oxidized to convert them into tea grains, ready to brew. The standard black tea is what represents the tea culture of the Emirates. It is high in caffeine, and is recommended in the morning.
Black tea in Arabic is called شاي أسود or shay ‘aswad. It can remove all toxins from the body with a hint of lemon in it. Sip it in the morning to stimulate your productivity and improve your alertness.
Traditional Serving Method Of Black Tea:
Black tea is boiled in a glass kettle. It is then strained and poured into a tall cup without a handle. The traditional serving style involves filling the glass to the brim.
It is then sipped slowly to fully enjoy the reviving kick and flavor it offers.
Benefits Of Black Tea:
- Black tea is also rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals to reduce cell damage and related diseases. (22)
- Consuming black tea on a regular basis can reduce LDL cholesterol. (23)
- The polyphenols in black tea support healthy bacterial growth and suppress bad bacterial growth in the intestine. This results in a healthier gut. (23)
- Helps you stay more focused throughout the day
Arabic teas are considered as one of the most delicious teas in the world. They are widely available in the Middle East as well as other Arabic countries. Tea lovers can now enjoy a variety of Arabic teas even outside of Arab due to the wide network of export they’ve developed over the years.
Arabic teas come in a number of flavors, from green tea to cardamom and hibiscus tea. You can find these delicious teas in Montenegro as well. Go for a store-bought version or visit a nearby Arabic restaurant to sip on your favorite Arabic teas.
Whether you love black tea, or have a liking for Karak tea, you are sure to find it at Arabian Tea House. Visit us today to enjoy a whole range of flavorful and authentic teas sourced directly from the Arabian peninsula. Have a look at our menu here.