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.
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.
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.
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.
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.