Albania consumes 0.3 lb of tea per capita per year.
Mediterranean Mountain Tea is the most common tea in the country and it’s also known by the name Sideritis or Caj Mali (çaj mali).
With a unique taste of chamomile and lemon balm, Caj Mali is the favorite tea of Albanians.
History of Tea in Albania
Albanian people harvest the wild Sideritis herb for centuries and mostly for its potent medicinal properties.
Albanian tea culture is influenced by Turkish and Greek, so here you can find a wide range of flavorful teas.
Tea Culture in Albania
The tea culture in Albania includes exclusively loose-leaf teas and a lot of sugar.
Local tea rooms are crowded mostly in the afternoon and tea is often served with the main course.
Some people like to start the day with caffeinated tea instead of coffee and this is an ongoing trend in the last decade.
The country also produces its own Green tea and this is mostly for export purposes.
Offering guests tea is a common thing and it’s considered impolite to refuse a host.
Tea in Albania is consumed at any part of the day people feel like having a cup, and it’s always pre-sweetened.
The preparation of Caj Mali involves boiling the dry buds and stems together with sugar and then letting it steep for a few minutes.
Shendetlie is a traditional Albanian sweet that goes along with an aromatic cup of tea.