Yes, They Drink Tea in Spain

Many Different Kinds Available

different types of tea
••• Flavia Morlachetti

Spain is a coffee drinking country. As a result, tea does not have a great tradition in Spain, though demand for it is rising (while coffee sales fall). There is an especially good range of teas in the Moroccan tea rooms of Granada.

Cafeterias in Spain all have a few boxes of teabags gathering dust next to their abacus, quill and pocket watch, but it is invariably of very poor quality. However, there are some fruit and herbal infusions that are quite popular.

Types

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. It doesn't come with milk; try adding it and it will cease to even vaguely resemble tea anymore
  • Té Rojo - Pu-erh tea
  • Té Verde - Green tea
  • Té de Fruta - Fruit tea
  • Manzanilla - Chamomile tea
  • Menta Poleo - Pennyroyal tea
  • Tila - Lime blossom tea

Tea in Granada and Lavapies (Madrid)

The Moroccan influence in Granada has created a bit of a tea culture in the city. There are Arabic teterias (tea houses) throughout Granada with menus that are often five pages long. It is also common for the streets outside these tea houses to sell packs of the most common teas you can buy in the shops. A word of advice: 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 here 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! Our 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.