If you ever have a chance to visit Morocco, there’s one tea you must try – traditional Moroccan tea. This unique tea treat has a cultural, social and traditional importance. And it tastes delicious. Learn more about Moroccan mint tea and how to make it at home.
About Moroccan Mint Tea
There are many tea traditions around the world. Some, like the Japanese cha-no-yu are reserved for special occasions and performed in special environments, and others, like the Chinese gong-fu tea making, in a simplified form, can be experienced in tea shops and practiced at home too. Preparing Moroccan mint tea includes a set of strict rules as well. Although this tea is enjoyed on a daily basis, it’s part of formal occasions too. When making tea at home many steps can be changed or even skipped, without compromising on flavor. But on formal occasions, knowing how to make tea properly is very important.
What is Moroccan mint tea?
Moroccan Mint tea is a strong and sweet infusion of green tea leaves, fresh mint and sugar. Sometimes other herbs are added too. Moroccan mint tea is usually made with spearmint – a type of mint with less pungent and sweeter flavor than peppermint. Fresh mint is usually used instead of dried mint, and it’s often used for decorating a glass of tea. Sometimes other ingredients including sage, saffron or lemon balm are used too, and tea can be decorated with pine nuts.
What makes Moroccan mint tea different from regular mint green tea is not only the preparation process. This tea is very sweet, very strong, very refreshing and served from small cups. Color of Moroccan mint tea will usually be darker yellow. The best tea for making Moroccan mint tea is Chinese Gunpowder green tea. It has a strong flavor suitable for blending with other ingredients and perfect for mixing with sugar. Gunpowder is available from many shops and it’s one of the most suitable green tea types for boiling. If you don’t have Gunpowder tea, Chun Mei may be used too.
Read more: How to make pink Kashmiri chai with green tea
How to Make Moroccan Mint Tea
To make Moroccan mint tea you will need a teapot, a kettle, spring water, gunpowder tea leaves, fresh spearmint and sugar. Moroccan tea pots are usually made from silver or stainless steel and have a build-in strainer. Unlike regular teapots, Moroccan teapots can and should be safe for using on a stove. For example, a traditional Japanese tetsubin that can be used for boiling water too. However, many tetsubins today should only be used for steeping, rather than boiling, because they are made from materials that could easily get damaged. When choosing the right teapot for making Moroccan mint tea, material is important.
There are different ways of making Moroccan mint tea at home. Some include making a strong infusion first, that’s later used for brewing the tea, some include washing the leaves, and some are closer to the regular way of brewing. However, all of them have one important step – boiling tea leaves in water over fire. That’s exactly why a regular teapot is not suitable for making a cup of proper Moroccan mint tea.
Choose fresh spring water to get the best flavor. If you want to strictly follow the rules, pour the tea from a height. This step is very similar to pouring Indian chai into small cups and will create a foam.
- 1-2 table spoons of Gunpowder tea leaves
- 1 liter of water
- A few tablespoons of sugar
- 2-3 fresh spearmint sprigs, plus a few small ones for decoration
- Use a kettle to bring fresh spring water to a boil.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of dry loose tea leaves into a Moroccan tea pot.
- Add 1-2 cups of hot water and let it simmer for a few minutes without stirring.
- Pour the tea into cups.
- Add about ½ to 1 more cup of water to the teapot with tea leaves and swirl it around.
- Discard the water from the teapot.
- Now add the first infusion back to the teapot, together with fresh mint leaves and sugar. Top up with the rest of boiled water.
- Simmer over low fire until it boils.
- Stir and pour into small cups.
- Decorate with fresh spearmint leaves and serve.
If you want to simplify the preparation process, you can simply place the tea leaves into a teapot and wash them with a very short infusion. Then add more boiled water, sugar and fresh mint and simmer for a few minutes over low fire. You can use any other stovetop teapot, or alternatively, a regular pot. Feel free to replace regular sugar with brown sugar or cane sugar.