Discover Saudi Tea Culture on Its International Day

The world has been celebrating International Tea Day on May 21 every year since 2019, when the United Nations announced that May 21 will be the International Tea Day and called FAO to manage the celebrations of this day. It is the second most consumed drink in the world, following water.

Although it is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, tea traditions have developed and varied from one country to another. Below is a closer look at tea and tea drinking traditions in Saudi Arabia.

In the Kingdom, tea is not just a tasty hot drink, but an opportunity for communication and interaction between people, as they gather around a teapot and engage in conversations.

Tea found its way to Saudi Arabia and was introduced to the Saudi people during the British colonial period in India in the nineteenth century, when the ruler of India gifted King Abdul Aziz Al Saud tea. Since then, it has spread all over the Kingdom and has become part and parcel of the Saudi culture.

Today, Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s 20 largest- consuming countries, as each person consumes nearly 900 grams annually.

Saudi People usually drink tea in the morning, afternoon, and on social and family occasions as serving tea to guests is considered one of the most important etiquettes in Saudi culture.

It is a symbol of hospitality in the Kingdom. A good hosts makes sure that the guests cups are never empty. In cases of large groups, the tea is usually served from right to left.

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Plethora  of Teas Flavors in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi households and cafes are flooded with different types of teas and flavors, the most famous of which is black tea. It usually served after meals with milk, sugar or honey, according to preference.

The Saudi people got to play with plain tea and each region started to add new flavors to it. In Al Madinah and the western region, tea is steeped with basil or mint and served with nuts.

However, in the north, people prefer to drink strongly brewed tea and mix it with cardamom.

In Hijaz’s cafes, water, tea leaves, and sugar are continuously boiled in a special pot from early morning until after midnight, which gives the drink a distinct, rich flavor.

Moreover, there is green tea, matcha and creamy spiced karak.

Preparing tea can be a fun experience in Saudi Arabia as Saudi People sometimes prepare it on wood fire while camping or when sitting outdoors.

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Madini tea is also one of the most famous types of tea in the Kingdom with its special mixture and flavor. It is available in different varieties, such as blended tea prepared from mint and sweet scented geranium.

Blue tea is one of the most important agricultural products in Jazan. It is known for its various health benefits, as it is one of the plants rich in antioxidants. This plant is widely grown in Fayfa Governorate, east of the Jazan region.

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