Moroccan mint tea is a refreshing beverage which can be drunk throughout the day. It’s ideal to be served at the end of a meal as dessert as it is very sweet. Although you can find and purchase pre-blended “Moroccan Mint”, it can never be as good as freshly picked mint and tea you made yourself.
Tea first came to Morocco in XVIII century, when European traders brought it on their ships to the country’s shores. It quickly became popular. Most sought after was Chinese green tea called “Special Gunpowder”. This is what’s most commonly used to prepare Moroccan mint tea to this day. It has an assertive taste so strong that it easily holds up against that of the mint. The minted-and-sweetened preparation became a national emblem: as both a drink of ritual and hospitality, Moroccan mint tea is truly part of the Moroccan everyday. Tourist guides will often warn you it is considered a sign of disrespect to decline your host’s offer of Moroccan mint tea.
Although not difficult, Moroccan mint tea preparation has its ritual nuance. A skilled pouring technique is emphasized in order to promote the tea’s characteristic foaminess. It’s also important to emphasize that pouring tea from height is important.
It’s best if you use special Moroccan tea pot. It is an important piece in every Moroccan home. Inside of it there are tiny holes that filter the tea when it’s poured. If you don’t have a Moroccan tea pot, use a small tea sifter when pouring the tea from a regular tea pot.
Boil two cups of water. Water of high quality is highly preferred – ideally filtered, but not distilled. Remove the water from heat source and let it simmer. Rinse 1 tablespoon of gunpowder green tea pellets and add to simmering water. Add a handful of freshly picked mint leaves. Any type of mint works, but spearmint is especially nice.
Now comes the least precise step which is purely based on individual’s taste – sweetening. Start with 2 tablespoons of sugar and adjust at whim. Simmer the tea, mint leaf, and sugar mixture for 5 minutes or until you’re satisfied with tea’s strength. Pour mixture through a fine-meshed strainer or sieve to remove the biggest leaves.
Serve by pouring from height – the higher, the better. Try making it a foot. This will create a foaming effect which Moroccan mint tea is famous for. There’s a trick to make it extra foamy – pour the water in and out of the pot a few times before serving. Feel free to serve and decorate it as you like, but keep in mind that Moroccan teacups are traditionally small. For an added touch, garnish it with remaining springs of mint.