Different Types of Yemeni Tea [Archives:1999/07/Culture]

February 15 1999

Drinking tea is one of the most common habits whether in the Arab or foreign countries and each country has its own traditional way of making and drinking tea.
In the old times, people used to drink one kind of tea but nowadays tea is sipped in various tastes that differ from one country to another according to the fabrication method and country of origin.
In Yemen there is only one factory for packing tea. Yemen Times asked a number of people from various Yemeni governorates on their drinking habits.
Fatema Abdul Qader from Aden said that people there prefer drinking tea with milk especially in the morning and after lunch.
She said that tea drinkers there prefer boiling water with sugar and adding cardamom or others until it tastes before adding tea. The mixture is then left to simmer a while before drinking it with cakes or biscuits. Coffee is not a favorite drink in Aden, she concluded.
In Sanaa, Ruwaida Saeed said that the capital’s inhabitants prefer coffee which is presented to family members and guests day and night. Tea is sometimes made only if guests prefers it, she emphasized.
“We boil water with sugar and some cardamom before adding tea and pour it in glasses,” she said, adding that they do not offer anything beside tea or coffee.
Coffee is consumed more than tea because people here feel that it represents their traditions which they inherited from the forefathers who did not know tea in the first place, Ruwaida underlined.
For her part, Amal Abdul Aziz from Hadhramaut said that tea is a must in that governorate after each meal.
She noted that Hadhramaut tea is prepared in a different manner, using either electricity or coal to boil water in a big kettle. A smaller kettle containing tea and some water is then put over the first one until it turns dark, she elaborated.
Amal said that sugar is put in the traditional small glass cups known in Hadhramaut and a small amount from that dark tea, then boiled water from the bigger kettle is added.
Coffee is only consumed on certain occasions, she said and noted that tea preparation is not made in the kitchen but in a certain place in the house allocated for that purpose.
However, in Marib there is no definite time for drinking either coffee or tea, according to Aneesa Ali who said that water is boiled along sugar in addition to mint or other tastes before tea is added.
She said that tea is poured in medium sized glasses to guests and added that coffee is drank more than tea in Yemen because it reflects Yemenis’ love to their country and their coffee.
Tea Business
Asked about tea business in the country, Bashshar Abdou Al Khawlani, a merchant, said that tea is imported from numerous countries.
He singled out, however, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya for their good quality tea. Bashshar underscored that prices of tea differ according to its quality and package.
Tea imported from a number of countries tastes better than that imported from original country of cultivation, he said, adding that hundreds of tons are yearly imported by Yemen which only have packing factories.
By: Ahlam Al-Khawlani,
Yemen Times
A Social Educational Meeting to  Discuss Social services
During 2-11 February, 1999, the ministry of education organized a conference on social education for supervisors and instructors of social studies, at Khawla school. 52 schools, and 134 specialists from Sana’a municipality and Ibb governorate participated. Ms. Wahiba Ghalib, Social Services Advisor for Curricula and Instructions, at the ministry of education, and the Supervisor of the conference, stressed the important role of such conferences in improving the efficiency of social studies supervisors and instructors. “Social services has become an important aspect of education. In spite of the slow development we are making, regarding social services. Our country too, gives a great importance to this sector,” she indicated.
The objective of the conference was to provide a chance, to all supervisors and instructors to meet, and discuss the problems, and difficulties social services face at schools, how to overcome them, and what students really need, and what should be provided for them.
Many issues were discussed such as, kinds of students who need help, the duties of social instructors, the importance of parent-teacher relation, and many other papers and researches on different social issues theme.
“People look down at our work, and they don’t open up to us. Some of them feel that we are trying to interfere in their personal lives, they can never understand, that we are trying to help them. Very few cooperate with us,” said Miss Anisa Abdul-Karim, a social service instructor from Ibb.
By: Ahlam Al-Mutawkil,
Yemen Times, Sanaa.