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What is it about Moroccan Mint tea that makes it the perfect beverage for a hot day? Beloved for its cooling properties with refreshing Gunpowder green tea and crisp peppermint, some say that if you drink it hot on a summer day, it will still cool you down. This savory tea is served everywhere from street corner carts to family rooms, making it a staple to everyday life in Morocco. In an arid climate where Camelia sinensis cannot grow, where did this iconic blend come from, and how did it become an integral part of Moroccan culture?

The fabled history of Moroccan Mint tea is full of conflicting yet colorful stories that range from likely historical explanations of the tea’s origin to entertaining tall tales. According to different sources, the tea may have been introduced to the region in the 1200s by Phoenician merchants coming into port for trade. Or, it may have been a custom-blended gift from Queen Anne of England in the 17th century to a diplomat from Morocco. Or perhaps, nomadic tribes brought the tea from China to Morocco in the 1800s. Truth be told, no one knows exactly how it arrived, but its arrival was fortuitous. It was a perfect fit for the needs of the people and is still enjoyed all over Morocco today. Gathering around a pitcher of tea with friends and family is a symbol of friendship and hospitality. The implicit symbolism of the gesture of a refreshing drink on a hot day is not lost to time; a moment of relief from the heat is a gesture of good will and provides a setting for friendly conversation.

Tea is prepared by the host in front of guests. A silver tray is brought out with ingredients at the ready: a teapot, hot water, mint leaves, and sugar. In Morocco, any time of day can serve as teatime, whether it be early in the morning, late in the afternoon or even after dinner. Tea may be served on its own or accompanied by sweets, but traditionally a silver teapot is used, and tea is poured into special ornate glasses. Like many other tea ceremonies, customary teaware has evolved over time for the occasion. But you don’t need an elaborate tea set to enjoy this invigorating beverage at home!

Moroccan Mint Tea

INGREDIENTS:

  • The teapot of your choice (ideally, with an infuser)
  • TE47: Moroccan Green Mint
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Optional: fresh mint leaves for additional flavor, and for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Warm your teapot by rinsing it with hot water over the sink, then dry it off with a towel.
  2. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil (the traditional way).
  3. Add one teaspoon of Moroccan Green Mint tea leaves to your teapot’s infuser for every cup your teapot holds, plus one extra (for example, with a 4-cup teapot, add 5 teaspoons of tea leaves)
  4. When the kettle has come to a boil, pour a small amount of water over the tea leaves until they are just covered.
  5. Let it steep for about one minute, then discard the water, leaving behind the infused leaves. In the tradition of brewing Moroccan Mint, this will remove any bitterness in the leaves. It is now time to brew the tea.
  6. Pour the remaining boiled water over the leaves.
  7. Add extra fresh mint if desired, and sugar as a sweetener.
  8. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes or longer until it is as strong as you like.
  9. When you are done infusing the tea, you may choose to remove the infuser if you wish for a smooth, even taste, or leave it in the pot so each glass you drink is stronger than the last.
  10. Pour your tea into a heat-resistant glass or a teacup from a large height, so the tea foams and bubbles as you pour.
  11. Add fresh mint leaves to garnish, if desired.
Happy Tea Drinking!