Shai bil na’na’ – Mint Tea

Tea cup for Arabic Tea

One of the things that I have grown to love about being in Saudi Arabia is the tea. Even in the hottest weather, the best drink one can have while being blasted by arctic gales from the air-conditioning has to be tea with fresh mint. It is very easy to make and while it is possible to buy  teabags of green tea with mint, for me, the best has to be home-brewed. It has to be sweet, it has to be fresh, it has to be scalding hot. By the way, for those interested in the prepared teabags, Twinnings Green Tea with Mint is pretty good.

However, for those interested in making a good teapot of Shai bil na’na’ with your own fair hands, you will need the following:

500 ml of water

2 teaspoons of green tea (the best tea I got so far was from a little roadside shop on the way back from Madinah)

A handful of fresh mint (best tasting ones are usually grown organically in your own backyard)

4 tablespoons of sugar (or, you could always put 1 or 2 small lumps of sugar in  each of the saucer provided with the teacup)


1) Heat the water till it just begins to boil (don’t wait till it’s on rolling boil)

2) Put in the tea, add in the handful of fresh mint and switch off the heat.  Let it steep for 5 minutes.

3) Add sugar (if adding to the whole teapot) and stir.

4) Transfer the tea into a cool looking Arabian teapot.

5) Best time to serve this is after dinner, as the mint tea will aid digestion. I also like to serve this as we break our fast in Ramadan.