Egypt consumes 65,000 to 75,000 tons of tea per year which are around 2 lb per capita.
Tea is the Egyptian national beverage, shaping the social and cultural background of the nation.
History of Egyptian Tea
Tea arrived in the ancient land of Pharaos around the 16th century.
It was introduced to the country during the British colonization.
As a predominantly Muslim country, Egypt embraced the invigorating properties of teas imported from China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and India.
Tea consumption became widely accepted among all classes and it became their favorite beverage.
Egyptian people’s favorite is Black tea, especially Earl Grey. They never add milk to it, but they do sweeten it up with sugar.
Tea Culture in Egypt
Tea in Egypt is served in glass cups, similar to the ones in Turkey and Iran, only larger.
No matter if you’re local or a tourist, you will be offered a warm cup of strong, black tea anywhere you go.
Egyptians drink two types of tea, both loose-leaf, Koshari Shai and Saidii Shai.
While Koshari Shai is steeped, light, and preferred in the northern parts of Egypt, Saidii Shai is boiled for a long time, has a strong flavor, and is the favorite of the people living in the south.
Shai Bil Nana
Shai is the Egyptian word for tea and Nana means mint.
Shai bil nana is a common beverage that you will find anywhere from the River Nile banks to the golden Red Sea shores.
Add mint leaves to a glass cup and mix them with 2-3 sugar cubes.
Pour either the steeped Koshari Shai or the boiled Saidii Shai and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Shai Bil Nana is ready to take you to the pristine Red Sea beaches.
Tea culture in Egypt is more than just drinking a hot non-alcoholic beverage. It’s a symbol of friendship, hospitality, and tradition. If you fancy a strong cup of sweetened Black tea, Egypt Shai is what you’re looking for.