Moroccan Tea Culture

I have been recently asked about the proper method of preparing a Moroccan Tea, and since I wanted to write about the Moroccan Tea culture for quite some time now, I decided to share my knowledge of this wonderful custom with you. Personally, I adore any tea with mint, I find that it goes well with many types of dishes and of course is great for your overall well being. Yet the Moroccan Tea is something different entirely. It is not simply just green tea mixed together with mint, it is a mixture of flavor, culture, and art – signifying hospitality and tradition.

The tea itself is a full bodied green tea called ‘gunpowder’, named for its resemblance to the grains of black powder – the leaves are individually rolled into small round pellets. Gunpowder tea was first  introduced to the Maghreb region in the 19th century, brought in by the European merchants all the way from China. Soon enough it became a favorite national drink.

The method of preparation varies from region to region, thus some methods include adding other ingredients such as pine nuts or adding lemon verbena for a lemony flavor. Even though the traditional method may be rather complex, there is an easy way to enjoy it at home. Here is a simple recipe, using the Moroccan Mint tea, premixed with mint:

  • Combine two teaspoons of Moroccan Mint with half a liter of hot (not boiling) water.
  • Infuse for 3-7 minutes.
  • Without stirring, filter the mixture into a different stainless steel pot, removing the tea leaves.
  • Add sugar (about one teaspoon per 6 oz cup).
  • Bring to boil over a medium heat. This important step in the preparation process allows the sugar to undergo hydrolysis, giving the tea its distinctive taste.
  • If desired, add Lemon Verbena leaves to the teapot or directly to the cup.
  • As part of the tradition, pour the tea from a distance allowing a light froth to build up at the top.

Now that you are all set to prepare this wonderful tea, I wanted to leave you with a brief quotation by Catherine Douzel,

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage” 

So what are you still waiting for, go on and imagine your perfect voyage!


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