The Gambia consumes 6 lb of tea per capita per year.
These notorious tea drinkers have a special tea ritual called Attaya and it involves mostly men.
During the ceremony, a group of young men brews Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea with a lot of sugar, serving multiple cups to each person.
History of Tea in The Gambia
Tea in the Gambia arrived in the 19th century, but it wasn’t popular until the 20th century.
Gambians adopted the Senegalese Attaya tea ritual and formed groups called the Attaya boys.
All the tea used in these rituals is imported from China.
Tea Culture in The Gambia
The Attaya tea ritual can last up to three hours.
Young men gather on the side of the road and prepare Gunpowder Green Tea with loads of sugar. Some also like to add Mint leaves.
The tea is served in glass cups and it’s poured back and forth to the kettle until it forms a rich foam.
According to a local legend, the first cup of tea during the ritual represents the love of the mother, the second one is the love of the friends, and the third one is the love of the significant other.
The tea culture in The Gambia is a perfect image of friendship and family ties.
Gambians drink their tea while connecting and sharing with their close relatives and friends.
To participate in an Attaya ritual, one needs to be invited or be part of the local community.