“How do you translate kum-kum into English?” Tsachi asked, as he filled up his rapid-boiling electric kettle (kum-kum).
“We don’t really have them in America.” I responded matter-of-factly.
Astonished, Tsachi probed further, “How do you make tea?”
“We don’t drink much tea in America.” I replied, knowing that it was going to shock him.
“Whaaa?!” Tsachi shreked as though I just ….. (Shocking statement worked.)
Tea in Israel is a delightful social experience. It’s offered to guests within minutes of arrival, shared when doing business, and enjoyed in leisure settings throughout this wonderful land.
There is, however, a tea for each season, and everybody knows what they are (and now you will too). Nana is for the summer and sheeba is for the winter.
Nana is mint and is used for its cooling properties. Tea is served very hot, sugar is almost mandatory and the cups, upon occasion, lack handles. Nana tea makes a most enjoyable and refreshing drink.
Sheeba or wormwood, has a bold flavor, and it’s warming properties and are highly medicinal. It makes a very good tea!