I’m a collector of beautiful tea tins, as I’m addicted to drinking loose leaf teas. So when I stumbled upon the tea and the tea tins from Terre d’Oc at their shop in Paris, I could not resist to get one. The Terre d’Oc shop in Paris also carries refill tins with Japanese kimono designs, so I splurged and got one of those too. The Terre d ‘Oc teas are all organic teas. I opted for an Egyptian patterned tin with loose leaf hibiscus green tea from Egypt. The tins would make a perfect Christmas or birthday gift, don’t you think?
What I love about tea, is that it is consumed in every culture, and that every culture has its own traditions and ceremonies with tea. In Egypt, tea is an important part of daily life and folk etiquette. Most people start their day with a shot of tea, and drinking tea after lunch is compulsory.
Egyptian tea comes in two varieties: Koshary and Saiidi. Koshary tea, popular in Lower (Northern) Egypt, is prepared using the traditional method of steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it set for a few minutes. It is almost always sweetened with cane sugar and is often flavored with fresh mint leaves. Adding milk is also common. Koshary tea is usually light, with less than a half teaspoonful per cup considered to be near the high end.
Saiidi tea is common in Upper (Southern) Egypt. It is prepared by boiling black tea with water for as long as 5 minutes over a strong flame. Saiidi tea is extremely heavy, with 2 teaspoonfuls per cup being the norm. It is sweetened with copious amounts of cane sugar (a necessity since the formula and method yield a very bitter tea). Saiidi tea is often black even in liquid form. (source: wikipedia)