How to make authentic Moroccan Mint Tea
When tourists travel to Morocco, they are always intrigued by Moroccan Mint Tea. They always ask me a lot of questions about it. So today, I will explain some of its history, culture, and how to make it in this blog.
Moroccan Mint Tea (Maghrebi mint tea) is a very important part of all Moroccans’ social and family life. It is one of the pillars in Morocco culture. It is so popular that it is served throughout the day in families, particularly at mealtimes. It is interesting that Mint Tea is also called “ Berber Whiskey”. Because Muslims are not allowed to drink any alcohol in Morocco and Mint tea becomes a way to bring them joy and happiness.
Drinking Mint tea is also one of the most famous Morocco cultures. For foreigners and visitors, it signifies welcoming and respectful. The Moroccan people will make you feel a sense of generosity and hospitality through tea.
No one knows exactly when it was introduced to Morocco. The most commonly accepted version of stories is that it was introduced to Morocco in the mid-19th century by a British merchant. Unable to sell what he called “gunpowder tea” in the Baltic region of Northern Europe because ports were closed due to the Crimean War, he stumbled upon Morocco, where it immediately became sought after. The locals made it their own by sweetening it and brightening it with fresh mint. You will still often hear it called gunpowder tea today, which gives credence to this story (ref: www.gadvantures.com).
Although Moroccan often adds aromatic plants such as dried rose petal, the lemon peel, orange peel, and herbs into the tea, the three key components of mint tea are gunpowder tea, mint, and sugar. Gunpowder tea is a type of green Chinese tea in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. Spearmint has a mild aroma and cooling flavor that gives the tea a fresh taste. Beetroot sugar will decrease the bitterness and increase the flavor. Beetroot sugar is grown in Morocco, comes from the beetroot vegetable which is packed with minerals and vitamins.
Moroccan mint tea contributes to good health. People who live in deserts or oasis like Morocco drink hot tea year-round including summertime! Consuming hot beverages cools the body down and the combination of also Moroccan tea has many powerful ingredients like antioxidants, properties to boost endurance, aid in digestion, increase mental performance, inhibit the growth of bacteria, and fungus, and even clear up skin disorders. The antioxidants in Moroccan tea help boost endurance, protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
The tea is traditionally made by the head male in the family and offered to guests as a sign of hospitality, while women generally prepare different kinds of foods. Typically, at least three glasses of tea are served. Each glass of mint tea gives different flavors, as described in this famous Maghrebi proverb: The first glass is as gentle as life; the second is as strong as love; the third is as bitter as death. (Wikipedia)
Moroccans hold the handle of the teapot from high above as this will help oxygenate the mint tea, keep the tea foam on the top of the Moroccan tea glass and cool the hot tea. Pouring tea from a high position will produce a layer of foam on the surface of the tea- a criterion for local Moroccan to recognize it as authentic minty Moroccan tea.
Making Morocco tea can differ from region to region and from family to family although the three basic ingredients are the same. This recipe is from my grandfather who was famous for his delicious mint tea recipe.
Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe:
Rinse the traditional Moroccan teapot with boiling hot water. This will wash away any residue in the teapot.
Place two teaspoons of gunpowder green tea into the teapot. Pour a little bit of boiling water into the pot to wet the tea leaves, then discard it.
Pour about half a liter of boiling water into the pot. Allow it to brew for a minute. Next, add a handful of fresh mint tea.
Add the beetroot sugar based on your desire (you can skip the sugar if you are Diabetes).
Pour boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then Pour a glass of tea into a Moroccan tea cup and keep it (first traction of tea).
Add a little boiling water to swish in the teapot again. This second rinse will take away the bitterness and the color of the tea will get darker than before.
Discard the second glass, only the first extraction of tea will be used.
Put the pot on the stove and wait for the tea to boil up. When it is about to overflow, pour back the first extraction of tea.
Take the mixture off the fire and allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool off. To mix all the ingredients together, just pour the tea into a glass and return it to the teapot. Repeat this process two or three times for the best results.
Learning to make Moroccan mint green tea is fun and adds joy to your life. If you visit Morocco, join us at Sahara Sky Tours. We offer varieties of classes that will bring you to local Moroccan Berber families to explore real Moroccan family life, culture, and learn about making perfect Morocco mint tea and cooking authentic Berber food.