The Origins Of Mint Tea
Contrary to popular belief, the history of Moroccan mint tea is actually quite recent. It began in the 19th century during the Crimean War. Discovered by an Arab merchant in China in the 9th century, all the while in Morocco, herbal teas are consumed, fresh mint or absinthe. Deprived of the Slavic ports, the English, who then took control of the tea trade in Europe, they did not know what to do with their stock of green tea, so they thought that the Maghreb is a possible market and by Mogador and Tangier, they poured out this dried plant in profusion opening trading posts in both cities.
Accustomed to consuming infusions based on decoctions of mint leaves called Nanah, Moroccans discovered Gunpowder green tea, nicknamed Chinese pearls. They therefore naturally decide to combine these two exceptional ingredients. Very refreshing, it allows the nomadic people of the Sahara, the most famous of them, the Tuareg, to survive the extreme conditions of this region of the world. Very naturally, the population has made it a compulsory crossing point, a ceremonial which brings people together in joy and strongly underlines the happiness of welcoming and offering a benefit.
Since then, all around this phenomenon, a craft industry, teapot, glass, tray, portable burners, tea strainer, hammer and other utensils is developing. It is not conceivable to speak, even 5 minutes, without a delicious tea appearing. It is neither elegant nor conceivable to refuse it.
Moroccan Mint Green Full
Tea of Good Health – Cool and refreshing, this brew is traditionally sipped from glass teacups with an overindulgence of sugar. Fragrant gunpowder and refreshing peppermint brews a soothing cup.
Our ministers have scoured the world for the finest tea leaves and herbs in existence. These leaves and herbs are the economies upon which The Republic of Tea thrives and what it offers to its citizens across the world.
Green tea contains less than a quarter the amount of caffeine per cup than in a similar-sized cup of coffee. More about caffeine.
Steeping green tea is easy. Simply heat fresh, filtered water just short of boiling. Then pour 6 oz of water over tea and steep for 1-3 minutes or 2-4 minutes
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- CarbAll of our teas contain ZERO carbs with the exception of Coconut Cocoa and Double Dark Chocolate Mate which contain less than 1 carb per serving.CarbAll of our teas contain ZERO carbs with the exception of Coconut Cocoa and Double Dark Chocolate Mate which contain less than 1 carb per serving.
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Ready Your Mint And Other Herbs
If you haven’t already washed your mint, do so now. The most effective way to wash fresh mint is to immerse it in a bowl full of water, swish it around, then lift out to drain.
Here, we are also preparing sheba to add to the tea along with the mint. Just a sprig or two is usually sufficient, as the herb is quite strong. Wash it by briefly soaking it in boiling water, which is simply poured over the sprig in a tea glass. This method removes some of the bitterness associated with sheba.
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The Moroccan Tea Service
This is a typical Moroccan tea service with an engraved Moroccan teapot , tea glasses, and serving tray. Many families own at least one fine tea service which is reserved for special occasions and serving guests, while a more casual pot and glasses are used on a daily basis for family or close friends. What’s shown here is middle-of-the-roadneither too fancy for family tea time nor too casual to set out for any company. Much more ornate glasses are often used.
Most Moroccan teapots may be placed directly over the fire, an essential step in the process of making traditional Moroccan tea. If you don’t have a Moroccan teapot, you can buy one online or look for another style of a stovetop-safe teapot. Small three- to four-ounce decorated tea glasses can also be found online or use very small juice glasses in their place.
Moroccan Mint Green Tea
A delightful and exotic blend of green tea and mints, with a hint of lemon. China Young Hyson green tea, spearmint and peppermint from Oregon, and freshly cut lemongrass are combined for a fragrant, refreshing, and aromatic Moroccan Mint green tea. It is a superb drink hot or iced. Try it Moroccan style, sweetened with sugar.
In the bazaars of Morocco in North Africa, tea is served on a “sinya” or three-legged tray, usually made of brass, plus a smaller tray that holds three boxes, one for green tea, one for mint, and one for sugar. The tea is prepared in a samovar which brews strong, highly concentrated tea. Then it is heavily sweetened with sugar and a touch of mint. The tea is then poured into a teapot which is elongated rather than round with a longer spout. The tea is poured from this teapot held high in the air into small crystal glasses with brass handles. Moroccans enjoy the social ritual of making this sweet flavorful tea which goes well with their hearty lamb stew, couscous, nuts, and apricots.
Green tea, spearmint, lemongrass, peppermint
Steeping Instructions1-3 minutes at 170-190 degrees Fahrenheit
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How To Serve It
The equipment used to make and serve Moroccan mint tea is extremely particular: the tea is brewed in special kettles made of pounded silver that, as Lahlou says, look an awful lot like the magic lamp from Aladdin. Glasses, not cups, are the proper drinking medium for the tea. The equipment plays heavily into the tea’s highly ceremonial serving process. As Lahlou describes: “The tea kettle has a nozzle, and the person making the tea will start from the bottom where the glasses are and raise the teapot so high that it forms a head on the top of a tea glass, like a pint of beer. That cools down and aerates the tea.” Glasses are typically refilled at least three times, with each subsequent serving getting stronger and slightly cooler.
But the most important part of the tea drinking ritual, Lahlou says, is savoring each glass. “You’re supposed to take your time and take little sips,” he says. “It’s like drinking a glass of bourbon. It’s a phenomenal experience.”
How To Make Moroccan Mint Tea
There are two ways of making Moroccan mint tea: the traditional way and the single-serving way. Heres how to make them both!
To make traditional Moroccan mint tea youll need a tea pot, preferably with a built in strainer.
To make Moroccan mint tea without a pot youll need a tea infuser.
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Our Love Affair With Moroccan Mint Tea
This post was first published in 2015 but has been updated in 2019 with the most recent information on morroccan mint tea.
*This post may contain affiliate links, as a result, we may receive a small commission on any bookings/purchases you make through the links in this post. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read our full disclosure.
We remember the first time we tried Moroccan mint tea in Tangier.
The History Of Moroccan Mint Tea
Moroccans famous mint tea is a symbolic drink for the Moroccan culture. Steeped with spearmint and served several times a day with a variety of foods, this drink is regarded as a welcoming gesture and the staple of the Moroccan social life.
More commonly known as Maghrebi mint tea, Moroccan green tea originated in the Maghreb region. It has since gained popularity all across Northern Africa in countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. Maghrebi Mint Tea plays an important part in social life as its often served to guests and during special occasions.
Its not known when the Moroccan green tea has originated as theres no exact date for its introduction in Morocco. According to one tale, it was introduced between the 17th or 18th centuries during the reign of Ismail Ibn Sharif.
There is, however, a recorded description of a Moroccan tea ceremony in the 1840. In addition, during the Crimean War in the 1850s, the British East India Company diverted tea meant for the Baltic states to Morocco, leading to a further increase of its availability. By the early 20th century, mint tea had spread all over Morocco.
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The Homemade Mint Tea Recipe
To prepare a mint tea according to the traditional Moroccan method, you will need:
- 2 tablespoons Gunpowder Chinese green tea
- Organic mint leaves called Nanah from Morocco
Put the green tea at the bottom of the teapot. After bringing the water to a boil, pour a small amount of water on the leaves to wash them, then discard this first water. Wash the mint, crumple it and add it to the teapot with the sugar . Pour a small amount of the infusion into a glass and put it back in the teapot to mix the sugar. Taste, and its up to you to judge when the infusion is ready. You have to taste the hot tea.
Moroccan Mint Tea And Moroccan Tea Culture
Historians differ as to when they believe tea was introduced to Moroccan culture. Although some say it may have been as early as the 12th century, others claim that it was only as recent as the 18th century. If the latter is correct, Moroccans were quick to embrace tea drinking as a norm of their own, resulting in Morocco’s current standing as one of the top importers of tea worldwide.
Today, Morocco’s famous mint teagreen tea steeped with a lot of spearmintshas become symbolic not only of Moroccan cuisine but also of Moroccan hospitality and culture. Many families serve the markedly sweet beverage several times a day with or without food, and both drop-in and invited-company can expect to be offered tea as a welcoming gesture. While the Moroccan tradition of honoring the guest may be rooted in Islamic etiquette, Moroccans are renowned for elevating that standard of hospitality to an exceptional level. As such, even new acquaintances and unexpected guests will be encouraged to drink glass after glass of tea , and then pressed to stay on for a full meal.
Although tea making in the West is usually simple, in Morocco the process is a bit more involved. The following steps show how the tea is typically prepared behind the scenes in Moroccan kitchens. A more complex ceremonial method of preparing tea in front of guests is employed less frequently, most notably at formal, special occasions.
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Shopping Moroccan Teapots In Morocco
I get many of my teapots from Morocco whenever Im visiting the country. Its less expensive especially in some Medinas and souks where I know I can find non-counterfeit products.
Tip: If you are visiting Morocco, check my Morocco Shopping Guidewhere I go through Morocco markets and Souks. This guide is so helpful when shopping cookware, handicrafts, and souvenirs in Morocco.
Master Moroccan Medinas and get what you want. Order my Morocco Ultimate Shopping guide.
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Moroccan Mint Tea: The Sweet Tea You’ve Been Missing
Moroccan mint tea defies many of the best practices employed by tea lovers: the tea leaves are often low-quality and should be boiled before adding heaps of sugar.
“The method we use to make tea is really unusual,” says Mourad Lahlou, chef of Aziza and Mourad in San Francisco, CA . “If you were to tell a tea connoisseur about the kind of tea we drink in Morocco, they would be utterly appalled.”
That said, Moroccan mint tea an intense, sugary, herb-charged sip is one of the most addictive and refreshing versions of the beverage you’ll find anywhere, and practically a daily ritual in much of North Africa.
Moroccan mint tea came into fashion during the 19th century, when spice traders relied on the country as an ideal stop en route from Asia to Europe. When Baltic ports closed during the Crimean War , enterprising British merchants sold their leftover Chinese gunpowder tea in Morocco. Moroccans would combine the strong, bitter tea with local mint leaves and the requisite sugar. With its overwhelmingly sweet flavor, this tea could function as a post-meal treat, or a satisfying drink between meals throughout the day.
Lahlou calls Moroccan mint tea the country’s national beverage, as it is known to represent “a lot of love, and the good things in life…Growing up as a young boy in Marrakesh, it was a daily ritual,” he says. “You are always mesmerized watching the person making it. It brings people together.”
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Finding The Best Moroccan Teapot
You probably already know it: traditional Moroccan mint tea is served in a special Moroccan tea set composed of a Moroccan tea pot , a Moroccan tea tray, and some beautifully decorated Moroccan tea glasses.
Growing up in Morocco, Moroccan mint tea was part of my everyday life. And that is the case for almost every person living in Morocco.
In fact, Moroccan families make Moroccan mint tea daily, once or twice a day. It is the beverage we drink on family gatherings and to chill and unwind.
Now, whenever I feel homesick, I make some Moroccan mint tea and my mood instantly improves. The sweet minty smell and the silver tea set always brings back memories of happy gatherings with some of my favorite people.
Making Moroccan mint tea is really easy. It requires a few ingredients and the total cooking time is only 10 minutes.
The most important thing about making Moroccan mint tea is having the right teapot. Of course, you can get away with letting the ingredients infuse in water like with most tea infusions. But to get that special taste everyone craves in Moroccan mint tea, you will need a special Moroccan teapot.
The good news? Moroccan teapots are a good kitchen investment that you wont regret buying. You can use them for making Moroccan mint tea or for serving any beverage, like coffee, juice, and wine. Its chic and decorative.
There are though a few things to keep in mind before getting one for your kitchen.
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