Women of Substance

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Attaya

As there are variations on coffee and Tea, Attaya’s variation really depends on who brews the best attaya. The dry leaf measurement, sugar, water all has to be proportionate to the number of people drinking it, The leaves are bitter so the outcome of the taste too depends on whether it should be made strong, medium
weight or light like some chamomile tea. Making it requires some skill. Whatever the outcome, the taste of the attaya will largely depend on the brewer.
Attaya is a male dominated ritual but in Senegal and Mauritania, women brew good attaya. I learned to brew attaya from my brother and friends at a very early age. It is these attaya sessions were I was taught how to
play scrabble, learn to listen to the best reggae
musicians, introduced to Foroyaa newspaper, talk politics and broil some liver and ribs. You learn to mann the third round first which is often the last ritual and less strong in taste and favored by women and children.
From there to boiling the second round, then you graduate after you brew a very good first round, which is a bit complicated and a bit sophisticated in technique than it looks.

Attaya occasions can be simple, often behind house under mango trees, or elaborate at naming ceremonies. Attaya sessions are good past times for family members and friends. Best served after lunch, especially after palm oil stew, beef stew or peanut butter soup. It is
high in caffeine and can be used as an energy drink but if taken in an empty stomach, can cause stomach upsets, nausea or some sleeplessness if taken taken
late evening. Night watchmen, drink attaya to keep them awake and
the brewing scent can send robbers and night mischiefs
away.

What you need to brew Attaya.
Charcoal
Charcoal burner or
Small Electric Stove
Small Gas Stove
Warrga or Attaya (Green Tea leaves)
Small enamel teapot ( Barada)
Sugar
2 Kass (100ml little Maghreb style glasses
WaterTray
Mint leaves –optional.

How to brew Attaya

1. Light the charcoal. Put three glasses of water in the small enamel pot and let it sit on the fire.

2. Scoop almost a full glass of the dry leaves add it to the boiling water. This is called the first round, so after some three minutes, add almost one and half full of sugar to the brew. The whole ritual takes three rounds and the tea leaves get weaker towards the
second and third round.

3. After you add sugar, start mixing the tea and sugar. You pour the drink into one glass and pour tit back into the other glass. This aerates the tea. You can pour back and forth until the drink creates a thick foam on top; half of the glass. This foaming part is where the
skills come into practice as the pouring glasses should be lifted higher for good and quick foam. Put the pot back on the fire to reheat the mix.

4. Put the glasses back on the tray and wash the
outside of all the glasses to prevent it from getting sticky ; important because this tells a lot about the general hygiene of the attaya making process and the
person brewing it. The glasses go around a lot so they should be thoroughly rinsed after each round and in-between froth time. Add some mint leaves to this stage
of the boil. It gives the tea a very nice mint flavor to the drink. I substitute mint leaves with cloves!!Great taste too.

5. Pour the drinks into the glasses, like a quarter full on the froth. This is a small amount but very strong. All

3 rounds of attaya can be made in an hour or three hours .But it’s best to have at least 40 minutes in-between.

6. Serve the drink. Some drink quietly and others will slurp noisily depending on how good they think it taste. You will be commended if it tastes good. Others will
complain if it’s too strong and others if it’s too weak. After the three rounds no matter what the outcome, you will hear all kinds of stories, mostly depressing, some inspiring and others outright incomprehensible. Every story gets audience over attaya. Wonderful
wonderful feeling. You all can call it a day!!
So if you visit Gambia, Senegal, Mali or Mauritania, please don’t miss on this Attaya session.

Fatou Jaw Manneh.

History of Attaya

We will give you the history of Attaya and the
merits of drinking green tea. Women need to stay away from all alchoholic beverages. Brew some attaya!!! with family and friends, you be will surprised with what information can be gained over time. So bring on the first KASS.

Origin of Tea

The origin of tea can be traced back to over 4000 years ago in China. No one is sure where and when tea was first brewed; stories about tea's origins are more myth than reality. One story tells that a legendary Chinese leader and medical expert, Sheng Nong, discovered tea as a medicinal herb in 2737 B.C. One day while he was boiling water under a tea tree, some tealeaves fell into Sheng's pot of boiling water. After drinking some tea, he discovered its miraculous powers and immediately placed tea on his list of medicinal herbs.

Initially used as an offering and as medicine, tea became the most commonly used beverage during western Han dynasty. Buddhist monks started growing it around monasteries. Later, during the Ming dynasty, the tea trade took an upper share in the state economy and the ”Tea and Horse Bureau" was set up to supervise tea trade. 
A Buddhist Monk introduced tea to Japan in the
6th Century and later in the 16th Century a
Portuguese missionary introduced it to Europe.
There began the history of Tea as an international drink. Trade between China and the western world grew considerably with the beginning of the Ching
Dynasty. As the Emperor of China was taking his first snuff of tobacco brought from Europe, the Queen of England was sipping her first cup of tea. As early as 1615, English traders with the East India Company were aware of the existence of tea. Tea quickly spread throughout Europe and in less than 100 years, England's import of tea rose from 100 pounds a year to over 5 million pounds per year. This demand for tea meant many voyages to bring shiploads of tea from China.

Along with the tea, came porcelain. To stabilize
these large ships they required ballast. ( heavy
objects or weights in the lowest section of the hull
of the ship to counterbalance the weight of the
masts and sails) On their journey eastward, the
ballast consisted of lead and sulpher, which was
traded to the Chinese for tea. They needed
something cheap and of equal weight for the
journey home. Porcelain goods were the perfect
solution.

Unlike tea, which took time to cultivate and could only be grown in certain climates, the only requirement for porcelain was clay and craftsmen. Both of which were abundant in China. The Chinese were eager to supply porcelain goods to the west, as they could turn dirt into gold with the addition of labor. By the end of the 18th century, millions of pieces of porcelain were being produced for export.

Benefits of Drinking Tea

Much was written in ancient Chinese books about tea, and in particular, about its health benefits: “Drinking genuine tea aids in quenching thirst and in digestion, checks phlegm, wards off sleepiness, stimulates renal activity, improves eyesight and mental prowess, dispels boredom and dissolves greasy food.” 

In recent years, the legendary medicinal properties of tea have been given serious scientific support. Studies have shown that drinking four cups of green tea a day can reduce the risk of developing stomach and lung cancer as well as heart disease. Green tea contains, among others, the cancer-fighting flavonoid epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC).
ECGC is unique in that it seems to battle cancer at all stages, from thwarting chemical carcinogens, to suppressing the spread of tumors. ECGC is as much as 100 times more powerful an antioxidant as vitamin C, and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. ECGC also may account for the antibacterial properties of green tea.asianartmall.com