Arabic Tea

I have had far less Arabic tea while living and working in Dubai than I would have ever expected after visiting Qatar last Summer. In each and every place we visited in Doha we were offered Arabic tea and coffee along with delicious sweet dates. It seemed like a natural component of the home & workplace and I fell in love with the flavors of the experience. In Dubai on the other hand, there are so many Westernized areas you can easily miss this Middle Eastern hospitality.

After visiting the Department of Culture in the nearby Emirate of Sharjah (for a project I’m working on) and being offered cups after cups of tea – I realized how much I missed the unique flavor. Sounds like the perfect excuse to make some at home. Thanks to my good friend Fatma, I have the (approximate) recipe – and am happy to share it with you here. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of water (1 liter)
  • 5 teaspoons Wizza tea (or 5 teabags of Lipton tea if you can’t find this brand).
    Note: you can tweak the amount of tea based on how strong or weak you prefer the flavor
  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffron
  • 2 teaspoons of rose water
  • 4 teaspoons of sugar (or add by preference to individual cups)
  • Optional: fresh mint leaves and lemon slices/drops
  • 1/2 teaspoon (green) cardamon powder and 3 to 6 whole cracked cardamon seeds
  • 1 can Rainbow-brand condensed milk (or soy milk substitute)
  • Optional: cinnamon, fresh ginger (grated), and/or fennel seeds (ground) to taste


Qatari Red Tea Recipe

1. Boil approximately 4 cups of water.

2. Add tea, saffron, sugar, and rose water together in boiling water. Let ingredients boil together for only a few minutes and remove from heat.

3. Pour into kettle and let steep for at least 5 minutes. Serve in Karak cups.

4. Optional: Add fresh mint leaf (in cups), lemon slices or drops (added to the tea after being boiled).



1. Use the same ingredients as the red tea recipe and add cardamon to the water while it boils.

2. Optional: add cinnamon, fresh ginger (grated), and/or fennel seeds (ground) based on preference.

3. Add milk while it’s boiling (or simply leave space in the cup to add milk in the end).

4. Strain tea into kettle and let steep for about 5 minutes. Serve in Karak cups.

Do you have a favorite tea recipe you can share? If so, please email it to me or post it below – I’d love to try it out!

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