Tunisians love their tea. No visit to a Tunisian’s home is complete without drinking Tunisian tea. Even the process is detailed, like a small ceremony. Today I’m interviewing a couple of our language nurturers (S & B) at The Tunisian Door to find out how to make “Thé Tounsi.”
First question: what do you need for making tea?
You need sugar, tea leaves, mint, water, a tea kettle, and a kenoot (charcoal stove).
Okay, that’s not too complicated. Can I make it on a gas stove?
Yes, no problem. But the flavor is different.
Alright. How do I make the tea then?
First, put two big spoons of tea leaves and two big spoons of sugar in the tea kettle. Add water, just until it’s under the spout of the tea kettle. If you add too much water, it will spit out of the spout.
Heat the tea mixture for maybe 10 minutes. It should boil a bit, then take it off the heat.
Add a handful of mint leaves. Then pour out a cup of tea and put it back in the kettle. Repeat this, pouring out a cup and returning it to the kettle until there are bubbles or froth on top. Taste to see if there’s enough sugar, and serve!
Wow, I think I can do that at home. But I’ve seen people add nuts to their tea. Do you always do this? What’s the best nut to put in?
Yes, we love nuts in our tea. During the daytime we often just drink the tea without nuts. But in the evening we like to add nuts. Peanuts and roasted almonds are the favorites right now during the winter. In the summer we like to add fresh almonds that have been soaked in rosewater. That’s delicious!
Mm, that does sound delicious. Does everyone in your family make tea, or just certain people?
Everyone can make tea. (S & B) Even my father makes very nice tea (S). My brothers don’t make tea, but they don’t drink it either (B).
Okay, so anyone can make tea. Who makes the best tea?
Me, of course!
Well, thanks for sharing about making Tunisian tea. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Well, there are different teas that we drink. We make most of them the same way, but often women like green tea and men like red tea.
That all sounds delicious! Thank you so much for teaching me about tea making today.
Menghrir mzia. (no problem)