October 21, 2015

Moroccan Mint Tea



Mint tea was one of my favorite discoveries during my trip to Morocco earlier this year.  Upon arriving at my riad, I was immediately seated in the lovely courtyard and served with a silver pot of this delightful and refreshing drink (nothing at all like the mint tea that comes in a bag), which the server called "Berber Whisky" with a wink.  

After two days of traveling, the jet lag and weariness simply melted away as I sat sipping my mint tea next to a fountain and palm fronds.


I prefer the way mint tea is served in the night market.  Each food stand would have platters of small glasses with bunches of mint stuffed inside. When you order tea, they grab a glass, pour you some hot, strong tea and give you a small bowl of sugar on the side so you can sweeten it as much or as little as you prefer.


I had glasses and glasses of it every day and was the first thing I recreated when I got home.  After multiple trials, I hit upon a recipe that most closely resembles what I had in Morocco. First - the tea has to be very strong. Second, you need lots of mint leaves, the fresher the better. And third - lots of sugar!  It's very simple to make and the perfect pick-me-up. 


MOROCCAN MINT TEA

Makes 6 cups of tea

Ingredients:

6 cups of boiling water
8 good quality green tea teabags
1/2 cup of sugar (more or less, depending upon your taste; but remember, Moroccan mint tea is supposed to be sweet)
2 cups of fresh mint leaves

1. Steep the teabags in the hot water for at least 5 minutes. 
2. Stir in the sugar.
3. Divide the mint leaves among the glasses and pour sweetened tea. 

OR

1. Steep the teabags in the hot water for at least 5 minutes. 
2. Place all the mint leaves in the pot and let steep for another 3-5 minutes.
3. Pour into glasses and sweeten individually, according to taste.

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