Spain is a coffee drinking country. As a result, tea does not have a great tradition in Spain, though the demand for it is rising (while coffee sales fall). You can always find some standard boxed teabags in Cafeterias (coffee shops) in Spain but finding truly good tea is a challenge.
In the past when you discussed teas in Spain, people would think about herbal teas that were used for health reasons. There weren't many varieties available except chamomile for stomach aches or star anise to help with digestive problems. But, now, with the proliferation of international restaurants and visitors from around the world, Spain offers a good range of teas from black tea to herbal teas.
With the rising popular belief indicating that coffee-drinking may not be all that good for you, drinking a cup of black tea which also is caffeinated, but is seen as more natural, has become a good alternative. Some doctors have started to recommend substituting coffee with tea.
According to the Granada tourism website, there is an especially good range of teas in the Moroccan tea rooms (or Teterías) of Granada. Caldereria Nueva is a pedestrian street in Granada that has many Arab tea houses, Moorish craft shops, and stalls. There you can find aromatic teas, Moorish pastries, pancakes, and other light refreshments.
Types of Teas Found in Spain
Though the quality is poor, the variety is surprisingly good. This is what you will find:
- Té Negro - Black tea that is much weaker than tea ought to be. You can request milk to improve the taste.
- Té Rojo - Red tea
- Té Verde - Green tea
- Té de Fruta - Fruit tea
- Manzanilla - Chamomile tea
- Menta Poleo - Pennyroyal tea
- Tila - Lime blossom tea
Where to Find Tea in Granada and Madrid
The Moroccan influence in Granada has created a bit of a tea culture in the city. The Arabic Teterias throughout Granada have menus that are often five pages long. Try the tea in the tea houses but don't buy it from there. Instead, go to the spice stalls around the Cathedral (there are two of them). The tea there is of a much higher quality than that sold in the Arabic areas and it is also cheaper.
The menus in the Teterias are rarely in English: just pick something at random. A favorite is Té Pakistani, a black tea taken with milk and mixed with vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamom pods.
Lavapies, a district of Madrid, also has a number of Teterias as does the Chamberí district. You can purchase tea at El Almacén del Té or Tea Cup, a tea store, and enjoy a garden setting at El Café del Jardín which is attached to the Museo del Romanticismo, an art museum. Try their homemade cakes and pastries. Inside the cafeteria, you will feel like you’re in a vintage tea room, but outside, in the little garden, is the best place to sit.
At the enchanting Salon des Fleurs, you can stop for a traditional tea or join in on one of the special tea parties. Enjoy such delights as strawberry green tea or iced lemon tea.