Imagine you are wandering the maze-like souks of Marrakech. Merchants are calling to you to take a look at their ware: sapphire-blue water jugs, intricate carpets of every color, multi-colored baboosh, or slippers, sparkling silver jewelry, sweet pastries dripping with honey, the sights, sounds, and smells of Marrakech. As you make your way through the crowded market you spy a vendor selling traditional Moroccan mint tea, thirsty from your trek through the hot and dusty souk, you decide to sit down and sample this most famous beverage of Morocco.
Morocco is famous not only for its tea but also for the way it is prepared. El Mehdi Miman, a 19 year old from Settat, Morocco, explains that there is a process to the tea making that must be followed if you want to taste true Moroccan tea.
“The preparation of the tea is a whole art and it is also the art of patience,” Mehdi explains, “True tea specialists never prepare it in a few minutes but rather quietly while talking with friends”.
Although the process is long it must be worth it because Moroccans have been drinking tea this way since it was first introduced in Morocco in the 18th century. Why does Mehdi consider tea making an art? He says “despite the wait when the tea finally arrives in our glass it is always hot!”
Mehdi says that there are many ways to make Moroccan tea but he was kind enough to share the way he was taught to make his favorite kind of tea, sweet mint tea!
First: Pour boiling water into the tea pot, swish it around, and then pour it away
Next: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves to the tea pot, add some water, allow to sit for a minute and then throw that water away (this is to remove the bitterness from the tea, Mehdi says)
Then: Add boiling water back to the tea pot; add fresh mint leaves and sugar cubes. Push the mint leaves to the bottom of the glass and allow to steep for two to three minutes so that all of the flavors are released.
Pour into water glasses and enjoy!
Want to really look like a tea-making pro? According to Mehdi the tea specialists hold the tea pot really high above the glass while pouring. If you can pull that off not only will you be enjoying delicious Moroccan tea but you’ll look pretty cool doing it. Just be careful not to burn yourself!