TEA TRAVELS: SPAIN

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Last year I wrote a piece about Moroccan tea culture and got a response from a reader about how they had similar mint tea in southern Spain. So when I recently visited Granada, I wanted to investigate the tea scene.

Whilst walking around the city, you will find some tea and spice stands near the Granada Cathedral. Don’t despair too long about the poorly-stored teas that are fully exposed to the baking Granada sun and head north-east of the Granada Cathedral.

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Tea around Granada Cathedral . . . keep on moving . . .

The heart of the tea scene is almost entirely isolated to the Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada. There is a clear difference between the architecture and food of the Albaicín and other parts of Granada. The Albaicín neighbourhood, which is comprised of small, winding streets, has a long history of Muslim/Moorish influence dating back to the 11th century. Walking into the neighbourhood is like visiting little Morocco, with its souk-looking streets full of leather goods, clothes, teapots, jewellery and tourist knick knacks. In this area you are more likely to find tagines and couscous than tapas and paella. And you will not have any troubles finding a place to take tea.

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Calderería street in Albaicín.

Calderería street especially has numerous tea houses and restaurants where you can take tea. Some of the tea houses have large selections of tea (not just Moroccan mint tea) and they sell Moroccan and Turkish sweets.

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A mix of Moroccan and Turkish sweets. The baklava looked particularly good.

Many of the tea houses and restaurants also have hookah pipes available to smoke, which might help you decide if you want to go into a place or not.

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The tea houses are cosy and quiet compared to the busy streets in the Albaicín.

I cannot say that the tea culture in Granada compares to other Mediterranean or North African tea cultures, such as in Turkey or Morocco. But I do think it is worth mentioning because Albaicín tea houses are thriving in a land where café con leches reign supreme. I would recommend ordering Moroccan-style mint tea in the Albaicín. The tea is made with green tea, fresh mint and a heart-stopping amount of sugar . . . just like in Morocco. If you don’t fancy tea, the area should not be missed for its history and stunning architecture.

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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