A Sip of Morocco

In Morocco, hospitality tastes like mint. Imagine you are invited to a native Berber’s home. Tea is ready and waiting when you arrive. The room is filled with the refreshing, sweet aroma of the Maghrebi tea (named for the Maghreb region of northern Africa). Cushions are situated around a low-sitting table in the middle of the room. On top of the table sits a hand-carved silver tray with a matching teapot and juice-size glasses.

Your host begins to pour the tea into the glasses. He lifts the teapot (which has tiny holes in the spout to strain the loose leaves) high above the glasses to create a froth. You take your first sip–a sensation you won’t soon forget.

There will be tea for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and breaks in between when you’re just sitting and talking. Shop owners will offer you tea while you try to make decisions and after you make a purchase. Mint tea is a staple and symbol for the relational mindset of Moroccans.

Maghrebi tea isn’t just a drink but a ritual to be savored. So invite some friends over, play some traditional music in the background, and enjoy this journey into Morocco.

What you will need:

1 Tablespoon (about 3 teabags) Gunpowder green tea
5 cups water
3-4 Tablespoons sugar
1 Large bunch mint leaves

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Photo courtesy of Tessa Presley

Makes 6 servings

  1. In a teapot, bring 1 cup water to a boil.
  2. Put the green tea into the water. Swirl the water for a couple minutes to clean the tea leaves. 
    img_7105
    Photo courtesy of Tessa Presley
  3. Pour out the water. This water is used to purify the leaves. You don’t need to keep it. Save the tea leaves.
  4. In a pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil.
  5. Pour boiling water into teapot with tea leaves. Let steep 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in sugar and add mint leaves. Save a few mint leaves to put in the glasses. Let steep another 3-4 minutes.
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    Photo courtesy of Tessa Presley
  7. To make sure the flavors are mixed well, pour a cup of the tea into one of the glasses then back into the teapot. Do this another 3-4 times. 
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    Photo courtesy of Tessa Presley
  8. Put the remaining mint leaves in the glasses and pour in tea. Try pouring from a height to create the special froth on top.
  9. Savor the moment. Sip slowly. Enjoy the flavor of Morocco.
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