Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder tea does not get its name from the amount of caffeine it contains - in fact it only has about 1/4 of the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. The name is actually derived from the Chinese zhu cha which translates to "pearl tea" or "bead tea". The leaves for this green tea are dried and then rolled into tiny pellets that resemble gunpowder.
Tea was introduced to Morocco in 1854 and soon after the tea ceremony was taking place in every Moroccan home from the palace to the Kasbah. The "tea ceremony" is something is celebrated when there are guests in the home. It is a symbol of national pride and hospitality and it is considered very bad manners to refuse taking a sip of the fragrant tea. Moroccans serve the tea in small slender glasses that are typically decorated with gold or engraved designs. It is also the tradition in Morocco to serve the tea with rinsed mint leaves and sugar or honey.
While I was in Morocco in 2009 the tea ceremony became part of my daily life. As we were visitors, the tea ceremony was a constant form of greeting for us. I really enjoyed the unique flavor. I wish that I had purchased a tea set like the one pictured above while I was there but - There is always next time I suppose!
Morocco DK Eyewitness Travel Guides
Wikipedia: Gunpowder Tea

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