Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bedouin Tea...Black And Sweet

Bedouin Tea And Kettle.  Same Kettle Used In Tunisia
Agami lies 200 kilometers North of Cairo, Egypt west of and close to Alexandria. Famous El Alamein lies 106 kilometers west of Agami on the coast of coastal Egypt in North Africa where Field Marshal Montgomery head of the Allied Forces defeated The Desert Fox Rommel of The Axis in World War II, the beginning of the end for Germany and Italy, its ally.





Bedouins Lived In Such Tents In Between The Fig Trees Growing On White Sand In The Desert (Here Only Showing The Tent Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google

Agami was a sea resort with fine white sand and clear, clean blue sea. Unforgettable for me, because that was where I used to go with my parents every summer since 1952 (5 years old). There was nothing but sand, no roads, no electricity, no water and hundreds of short fig trees. There was a dirt road where only army jeeps 4 x 4 could drive on.  We certainly did not have a jeep, it took over an hour to drive 2 kilometers to reach the shore. At the beginning we used stay at the "Touring Club of Egypt"guest houses by the sea - wooden shacks where you had a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, and shade. Unforgettable. Slowly we built our own stone villa and had a blast during my summer vacation from school. During the sixties, and seventies Agami was the meeting place of most of the "Franco-Levantine beautiful people of Alexandria and Cairo". The beach was still clean, not crowded and everybody knew each other. The downfall of Agami began in the eighties. Every Tom, Dick and Harry went to Agami. The beautiful villas were replaced by condominiums and Agami became a town. The "beautiful people" moved way West to the now known as the "North Shore".  I had left Egypt.

Bedouins Had Camels, Sheep and Goats. Courtesy Of Wikipedia On Google.
Amidst those fig trees lived the Bedouins. Amidst those fig trees we had built our villa. The Bedouins living right beside us became our guards and took care of the villa during winter. They also were our suppliers of fresh figs every day. Mardia the mother, and Zeinab her daughter helped around the house, washed the dishes and our clothes.  They often prepared tea for us when we visited their tent to talk to the head of their family, the wise old man Moragaa, sitting on the carpeted sand. His son Slouma was our handy man and carried our umbrella and chairs back and from the beach every day. What a life, it feels like a dream now.
I needed to share this introduction with you because it is part of me, part of my past.
Now for the Bedouin tea.....
If you are reading this, you are a patient person and I thank you for it.
Here is how they made their tea:
You will need: 
-  A kettle like you see in the picture. It goes straight on the stove.

-  Water.
-  2-3 full tsp. of black tea (not green, not any of the modern fancy teas, but black Assam tea).
-  Some dry leaves of mint.
-  2-3 tsp. sugar.
Method:
-  Fill kettle with water.
-  Add the tea, sugar and mint.
-  Boil for about 10 minutes after water boils keeping the cover opened because it will boil over.
The tea comes out quite dark and strong, nearly bitter, but sweet because of the sugar.



The Bedouins drink their mint tea very sweet. It was served in small glasses similar to shot glasses of today.
Bedouins Drink Their In The Above Glasses.

Tunisians Drink Their Tea In The Above Glasses
What I loved best was the style and the ceremonial way they prepared it. I will never forget it.


Enjoy after a heavy meal,
Stelio
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1QI9F1mh2