Jordan – Tea-drinking customs of the Circassians


Location: Zarqa – Jordan

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:03:19

Sound: natural

Source: A24 in Jordan

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date: 11/06/2022


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 tea pot 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 tea pots 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”, delicious pastry stuffed with Circassian cheese and does not contain salt or potatoes, and “Laqum”, pastry with sugar. Some serve walnuts, raisins, dried apricots and honey with the tea instead of sugar to add a sweet taste.


– Soundbite (Adnan Bazadogh – Researcher and owner of the Circassian house museum):

“Circassians love to drink tea and serve it to guests, especially after they came to Levant regions. In the past, they used a herb called “Kalmehk Shai”, to which they would add some milk, butter and black pepper to give energy and warmth, especially in snowy, cold areas, since this drink is quite rich.”

– Soundbite (Adnan Bazadogh – Researcher and owner of the Circassian house museum):

“The current tea-making method consists of two tea pots, the first contains just boiling water and the second contains tea, which is placed on top of the pot of boiling water. Mostly, honey, raisins, dried apricots and nuts are used for sweetening the tea instead of sugar.”

– Soundbite (Adnan Bazadogh – Researcher and owner of the Circassian house museum):

“Samovar is a well-known Russian tool used in the Soviet Union and Turkey as well. There is a similar tool used in cafes, a large pot in which water is boiled, and on top of it is another pot for the tea. This tool is easy to use and accessible to everyone.”

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