Traditional handmade Moroccan tea glasses
Tea glasses are one of the most known symbols of the Moroccan culture. They have been used for decades in all of the hotels, cafes, markets and restaurants of the country. You can find Moroccan glasses that are very simple and others with a very rich and delicate decoration.
More commonly called Beldi glasses, they represent an old tradition of handmade work. The workers used to produce these beautiful hand painted glasses all over the country and train the youngest generations to do so.
Today only a couple of factories in Marrakech keep the tradition alive. The craftsman creates glasses but also vases, lamps and pottery objects.
The most famous atelier
was in Casablanca but was closed in 2013. Some of the mythic blue painted glasses are on sale as limited collector pieces.
These particular handmade glasses have been created at the beginning of the 20th century by craftsman with a creation talent and a strong sense of business.
Before these glasses, they used to build lamp glasses for storms, but they gradually stopped with the implantation of electricity in Morocco.
It’s in the 1940’s that the knowledge of the fabrication came back to life.
The creation process is divided in several steps:
- The craftsman uses a can with a little ball of glass, he blows with his mouth through a tube and put the glass in a mold whilst turning the can.
- Once the glass is mold, it’s “cut” by an oxy-cut process (a mix of gas and oxygen).
- The glasses are placed in an oven that cooks them for 3 hours.
- The glasses are decorated with various paintings of one or several colors or send directly to be sold.
These Moroccan glasses resist to the heat, they are ergonomic, build with recycled glass and their elegant design make them very easy to recognize.
You can purchase them online from different vendors, but the most beautiful and modern designs are from two ateliers:
- The atelier of Marrakech opened in 2014 offers a new version of this hand glass. The design respects the old version but with new proportions, with thinner sides for a lighter glass (and also a lower price).
- The atelier Kessy, opened at the beginning of 2015 near to Marrakech. It reproduces identically the fabrication process of Casablanca’s atelier from the recycled bottles with a final result close to the original glasses.
These glasses are pretty unique and very resistant. There is also a special green line created from Heineken glass bottles.
Having a set of Moroccan glasses at home it’s not only adding a new piece to a beautiful kitchen tools collection. It’s also respecting the environment by choosing an object build with the recycling of various materials, giving work to craftsman with a specific and valuable knowledge and produce unique handmade objects.
You can find of all kinds of sets with different sizes and colors for all your taste. The smaller ones can be used for the tea and the coffee, the medium and bigger ones to decorate a beautiful table. It’s also exists in an XL size for all kinds of cocktails and ice drinks.
The tints go from transparent to aquatic green reflects, to light and dark green to the traditional deep blue that goes perfectly with Bleu de Fès.
Speaking about the most famous Moroccan glass we have to speak to you about the most famous Moroccan drink to prepare on it: mint tea, le thé à la menthe
This drink is prepared from green tea, a bundle of fresh mint and a few pieces of sugar. The teapot is first boiled, the tea added, then the sugar and finally the mint. The teapot is filled up with boiling water and the mixture has to brew for two to three minutes. You have to fill two to three times a glass and then pour the drink again in the teapot: this step gives oxygen to the water and more taste to the brew. If it’s necessary, sugar or mint is added.
When the mixture is finished, the teapot is raised up by the handle, raising the arm to the top and pouring slowly the hot drink into the empty glass. This precise movement of the arm increase the taste of the tea. Once the glass is full, a thick mousse appears on the top of the drink, it’s a sign the brewing is correct.
According to your taste you can add different ingredients:
- Pine nuts
- Wormwood leaves
Thanks to Scentandfeel, you have different types of hand made painted glasses to enjoy your drinks.