The blue men of the desert have a wealth of traditions thousands of years old, including the famous tea ceremony.
The preparation of Touareg’s tea is long, complex and structured according to many versions. According to the most common one, it is necessary to boil the tea three times. Tea of the first boiling is called “tea of death”, because of its strong and very bitter taste.
The second tea is called the “tea of life”, because of its taste definitely sweeter and more pleasing but with a slight bitter aftertaste. The tea obtained by the third boiling is instead called “tea of love”, sweet and intense.
The act of pouring tea is a ritual within a ritual and is done from top to bottom in a glass in order to create foam, which makes the tea delicate and frothy.
“A tea without foam is like a Touareg without a turban.” – Touareg proverb
Tea in the desert
This ceremony, according to tradition, would serve to bring distant cultures closer together, to take a break after tiring desert journeys, and to forge alliances.
A Berber people with no fixed abode, the Touareg are used to camping with elaborate tents in the desert. For the long Saharan crossings they use dromedaries: animals with a robust physique and excellent resistance to heat and drought. They based their subsistence on breeding and trade with the populations bordering the Sahara.
Men are used to wear the typical turban known as “taguelsmut”, which covers the face leaving only the eyes free and is essential to manage the temperatures of the desert areas.
The women, on the other hand, wear the veil, but their faces remain almost completely uncovered and show a great passion for cosmetics.
This population consists of over half a million people.