Tea culture in the middle east

Tea culture in the middle east

back in the day….

cattle herders taking a break from their pastural duties.

ambitious tradesmen discussing pearls and jewels at caravan serais.

tribal chiefs gathering for discussions.


women gathered in a salon or private parlours or courtyards, watching their children play, as they sit in the shade of the trees.

artisans waiting for their creations to be ready.  

poets gathering by the fireside to share their words and verses. 


guests visiting home for that fundraise party. 

friends hanging out after college, at the pet-friendly tea house.  

high performing teams taking a break between meetings or video calls.  

and of, course, the timeless tea ‘parties’, small or big......

communities gathering for the ceremonial iftar with kahwa.  

neighbours chatting on their balconies.  

tourists soaking in the culture of the land and take back its essence. 

through the centuries of life and the vast canvas of experiences that color life here in the middle east…..

……and the experiences, the heritage and stories that tie us together, the rich aromas of tea have been a constant :)

it is a flagbearer of our hospitality.  drinking tea together embodies the warmth we share with our fellow beings, the connections we foster. 

tea has played a role in the region since it was brought here through trade in the silk routes.  as we grew up with tea all around us, it has grown into an inseparable part of our lives.  tea is intertwined with and inseparable from the customs and culture of the land.  its rich aromas when served hot, its soothing effect when served cold capture the many moments that we share.  

and above all, it underlines and communicates our belief in plentifulness, in abundance.  years ago, for many unaware visitors and even today for the uninitiated few, the desert might be intimidating.  but for us, whether native or migrant, it only means opportunity and abundance.  not to mention nature never fails to serve variety along with plentifulness.  where there are deserts, there are also hills and the sea too!

it is this plentifulness and variety that we at sy’a want to explore, create and share with the world.  the world of patrons who seek excellence, optimism and sharing.

‘that is lovely but why choose tea?’ we are asked.

‘why not?  why anything else?’ we respond.

today dubai is dotted with tea houses and cafes of all sizes, segments and varieties.  but tea was there even before these came up.  because tea is almost as timeless as the human craving for sharing a luxurious experience.  it is still the catalyst that brings people closer in confidence and glory, in intimacy and celebrations.  

a community is made when strangers share stories, but these stories are not shared in a vacuum.  the experience surrounding the storytelling makes a world of difference.  think of a story enacted like in a plush theatre with faultless acoustics versus one narrated over a hurried phone call with patchy network.

the stories while sipping on tea and sheesha will be remembered for eternity.  drinking tea together becomes a symbolic space for people to find a sense of home and belonging.  the mere act of offering it is an open invite to friendship.  it is to say, “hey will you share this moment of life together sipping on this beautiful drink?” because every moment is unique, every moment is special, every moment is valuable.

and one more thing….

tea is for everyone.  and we want everyone to be for tea 😊

consider the sheer variety….

with or without sugar.  hot or cold.  spicy or fruity or floral.  served in silver or ceramic or glass. embellished or otherwise. 

drinking tea is a fulfilling experience in every form.  every sip is indulgence.  and beyond.  or simply ‘beyond indulgence’ as we say at sy’a

come, share the sy’a experience with us here