Tunisia consumes 2 lb of tea per capita per year.
Mint tea with pine nuts is the country’s national drink, available at every restaurant, tea/coffee shop, and roadside stands.
Tea in Tunisia is a deeply embedded ritual, forming part of everyday life and all sorts of social events.
History of Tea in Tunisia
Tunisian tea fever started during the time of French colonization in the 19th century.
The most common type of tea here was the popular mint tea, typical for other North African countries, especially Morroco.
Tea fashion grew rapidly among the local population, witnessing an increase in tea import from 220,000 lb in 1917 to over 2 million pounds in 1926.
The tea import numbers in Tunisia have been growing ever since.
Tea Culture in Tunisia
Mint tea with pine nuts and loads of sugar is an extremely tasty beverage that everyone must try.
Offering tea to guests is the highest form of hospitality and it’s extremely impolite to refuse a cup of freshly brewed mint tea.
The mint leaves are steeped for ten minutes before being introduced into glass cups with sugar, while the pine nuts are added in the end.
Tunisian mint tea is always consumed warm despite the high temperatures throughout the year.
Maghrebi is the local name for mint tea also referring to traditional beverages in other North African countries.
An average person in Tunisia drinks four cups of Maghrebi tea per day and sometimes, even more, depending on the individual’s daily meeting schedule.
Makroudh is a common pastry packed with dates often served with mint tea.
In some parts of Tunisia, people use almonds instead of pine nuts in their tea.