Tea-drinking customs of the Circassians


Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world after water. Drinking tea has health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and weight loss benefits. It also has cultural significance in many societies.

With Circassians moving to live in different countries, some replaced the herb “Kalmehk Shai” with regular tea herb that is prepared in the old method using what is known as “Samovar”, which is a large copper teapot in which water and the rest of the ingredients are placed.

The pot is then placed over coal or firewood to bring the tea to a boil, then serve.

Circassians have now developed their tea-making method by using two teapots placed on top of each other, the tea is boiled in the top pot and the bottom pot is filled with water used to dilute the tea according to preference.

Circassian tea is served without sugar, but along with special Circassian sweets and pastries including “Al Hafa”, a delicious pastry stuffed with Circassian cheese and does not contain salt or potatoes, and “Laqum”, a pastry with sugar.

Some serve walnuts, raisins, dried apricots and honey with the tea instead of sugar to add a sweet taste.


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