All over the Middle East, tea is very popular and made in various ways. In Afghanistan, I had it with milk and sugar in some places. In other places, I had it with just sugar. In Turkey, it was just with sugar. Sometimes the tea, usually black tea, is served in a cup similar to a coffee cup, but most often, it is served in a small curved glass that people would think is a shot glass at home. Most of the tea is steeped and uses loose leaf, although you can get teabags. Teabags just aren’t the real thing, though.
One sees young men in the souk constantly taking trays of the small glasses of tea around to the shops for merchants and their customers, these young men are in constant motion. The first time I was at Tanor Al Deera, I saw, at another table, a tin charcoal brazier with a teapot on it. I tried to order one for us. The waiter asked, “Lipton?” I tried to make a box shape with my hands and he said “Lipton?” once again, so I said yes. I received a glass, bigger than the curved tea glasses, of hot water and a tea bag. Oh well, I settled for that.
The next time we were there, I ordered it by pointing to one on another table. The tin brazier was brought over first, with a nice layer of glowing real wood charcoal. As Mark said, no Kingsford here! Then he brought over the teapot and placed it on the brazier grate cover. He brought over a tray with the curved glasses, little saucers and spoons, as well as sugar and a small bowl with black loose leaf tea with a few cardamon pods. You dump as much of the tea mix into the pot as you want, depending on how strong you like it. We used the entire amount. Wait five minutes and the tea is ready. Pour, mix in some sugar and enjoy.