"Tea!" Tassili n'Ajjer National Park Things to Do Tip by JLBG

Tassili n'Ajjer National Park Things to Do: 133 reviews and 279 photos

  The tea ceremony
by JLBG
 
  • The tea ceremony - Tassili n'Ajjer National Park
      The tea ceremony
    by JLBG
  • The tea ceremony - Tassili n'Ajjer National Park
      The tea ceremony
    by JLBG
  • The tea ceremony - Tassili n'Ajjer National Park
      The tea ceremony
    by JLBG
 

Though tea has only been introduced among the Tuaregs at the beginning of the 20th century, it is now a main part of the Tuareg's tradition and a well known ceremony. Ali, our cook, heat his kettles. The ones for tea are the green ones (always made in China). The kettle is loaded with green tea, mint leaves and some sugar.

Second photo. When it has been brought to the boil, he pours it from high in the other kettle which will go back on the embers for a while. Sorry, he preferred to be in the shade than under the sun! This pouring (and followings) aerates the tea, which oxidizes the tannins and makes it less bitter and tastier.

Third photo. He then pours it in a large glass, and back into the kettle, several times. When the tea is ready, he pours it into small glasses (sorry, no photo) called alkassane in Tamashek. This is the first tea. The second tea will be prepared immediately after the first. No tea is added but some more mint and some sugar. The third tea will be made in the same way.

The Tuareg tradition says:
"Le premier thé est amer comme la vie, le second est fort comme l'amour et le dernier est doux comme la mort". (The first tea is bitter as life, the second is strong as love and the third is sweet as death).

It is sometimes given a bit differently."Le premier thé est amer comme la mort, le second est fort comme la vie et le dernier est doux comme l'amour ". (The first tea is bitter as death, the second is strong as life and the third is sweet as love). Thanks to Glenn (VT Bwana_Brown) for correcting an unfaithful translation.

It is impolite to decline tea but women can begin with the second and children only with the third. Once you have accepted to drink one, you MUST drink the followings. Doing otherwise would be very rude.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Updated May 5, 2006
  • Send to a Friend
  • Report Abuse

Comments

JLBG

“I believe that tourists are very valuable to the modern world. It is very difficult to hate people you know. (Steinbeck)”

Online Now

Male

Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 3
Forum Rank:
0 0 2 7 3

Have you been to Tassili n'Ajjer National Park?

  Share Your Travels