Mint tea is the national drink of Morocco and a sign of hospitality. The ritual is unchanging. It is served, very hot and very sweet, at any time of day in the carpet merchants’ shops, a Berber tent or the lobby of a grand hotel. Served in a small glass, it is poured from a great height in order to remove all bitterness.
To make good tea, the water should never be boiling, just simmering, with round bubbles rising to the surface.
The tea pot should be used only for tea. Choose an earthenware or porcelain pot. Never wash it with detergent products: simply rinse it out and drain it without drying it.
Avoid reheating prepared tea: it will alter the taste.
Moroccans sometimes add a little sage, orange flower, absinthe, ambergris or saffron to classic mint tea.
Some people like to add a little piece of dried fig. In this case, you will have to bring everything to the boil. But be careful! This combination is said to lead to a state of euphoria and ecstasy! It was once served at weddings in the Marrakech region to relax the atmosphere!
- Heat the water until it starts bubbling.
- Rinse out the tea pot with boiling water and add the tea leaves.
- Pour one cup of simmering water over the tea to rinse it and remove some of its bitterness and impurities. Discard the rinse water.
- Rinse the mint in fresh water and drain. Place it in the tea pot being sure it doesn’t float to the surface – otherwise it will blacken.
- Add the sugar.
- Fill the pot with simmering water. Cover and leave to infuse for five minutes.
- Pour one tea glass full of tea and then return it to the pot. Repeat this a couple of times. Now the tea is ready. Pour each glass from high enough above the glass to cause the tea to foam a little.
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