Discover the spirit of exploration, the raw edges and the vast beauty that are the essence of Marrakech, Morocco!
Morocco has always been a place of exploration, raw edges and vast beauty. Yves Saint Laurent said that Morocco taught him color. Jimi Hendrix found inspiration for "Castles Made of Sand" there. Bob Dylan, Jack Kerouac and countless others have found profound inspiration in Morocco.
We have, too. The Firepot Tea Bar is decorated in souk finds from cactus silk pillows and handmade bar stools to antique Moroccan tea pots, carpets and hand-blown beldi glasses. Each February, I return to Marrakech and inevitably return with new discoveries from the souks - rose, argan and sandalwood oils, brass spoons, healing Berber tea blends and more.
The souks are the shopping stalls in the medina, the town center. Historically, nomadic merchants would trade and sell beautiful hand-made goods found on the ancient trading routes that connected east and west and north and south, right in the heart of Morocco. Camel and donkey caravans laden with spices, tea, sugar, salt, gold, jewels, herbs and other objects of passion or purpose would convene in the souks for community and commerce.
You might be surprised to learn that the best-selling items at our Nashville tea bar are our gorgeous and colorful cactus silk pillows! We buy them from our friends Abdul and Salim, who source their textiles direct from artisans in the High Atlas Mountains. Direct trade here means that more money goes to the makers in Morocco and we can offer you a better price than other vendors who sell them for twice as much!
Cactus silk is made from the Saharan Agave Cactus and the textiles are loomed by hand of this strong and luxurious material. They come in an endless number of sizes and rich desert colors. At the tea bar, we stock squares, meditation cushions and kilims, which can be thrown on the floor like a carpet or over a chair for color or protection. We stock pink, white and brown and bring in seasonal colors like turmeric and turquoise from time to time. There is no better way to brighten a space, inside or out, than with a cactus silk pillow. We keep them in the bay window at the tea bar and strewn them about the floor carpets when we host a Moroccan Tea Party (blog post on how to throw your own Moroccan Tea Party coming soon!).
Beldi glasses are the traditional tea glasses that have been hand blown in Morocco for centuries. They come in all shapes, colors and size, but traditional Moroccan mint tea glasses have a trademark bulge just beneath the lip. The lip is to keep your hands from burning and also for keeping the glasses in the wire carriers that are used to transport up to 12 brimming cups at a time! They are our favorite for not only tea but also wine, juice and water. Beldi glasses are especially perfect for little hands!
Check out other souk finds on our webshop, let us know if you have any custom orders and stay tuned when I return from Marrakech next March with new finds!
From the beginning, Firepot's mission has been to improve lives through sustainable business. Using tea as a vehicle for connecting people worldwide, I am always looking for sustainable and ethically made products on my travels from Morocco to Japan and beyond! Keep an eye out for more items rolling in and out of our site.