The culture of Mint Tea in Morocco
Historical background
Moorish tea, as they call it, represents the long-held traditional heritage of Morocco, and their addiction to this tea. Over the course of centuries, the mint tea has become the cultural habit not only for the people of Morocco but has also spread throughout North Africa, including parts of France and the Arab world. The tea goes by many names. Moroccan mint tea, mint tea, Tuareg tea, and Maghrebi mint tea are some of the most popular names for the highly cherished drink of the Moroccan people.
Unlike the common perception, the drink is much more than just a simple cup of tea served with biscuits. With rich and proud cultural traditions of their own, Moroccans have their way to express these cultural manners in the minutest aspects of their lives. The drink is believed to be historically linked with the social lives of the Moroccans for as long as a late 18th century. It was then that the people of Morocco began taking a strong liking to the tea, an addiction that ultimately turned Morocco into one of the finest traders of tea globally. In another legend, it is held that the tea was introduced by famous traveler Ibn Battuta.
Cultural significance
In the particular cultural context of Morocco, mint tea is not just an ordinary cup of tea. It actually signifies something of far greater importance. When you are offered the tea, it means that you are welcome here, a sign depicting the friendliness of the Moroccans. According to the tradition, the male head of the family invites the guest to the tea while the female members prepare the food. Gradually with the passage of time, Moroccan mint tea has acquired central importance to the Moroccan social life. Moroccans are very hospitable people. So, the presentation of the mint tea to a guest can even take a ceremonial form. While women generally prepare different sort of foods, the Moroccan mint tea is specially prepared by the male head of the family. The serving, normally delivered in three glasses, is considered an important gesture of hospitality. Once served, the circle continues throughout the day as a social activity. This tradition shows the significance of the mint tea in the Moroccan culture.
Unlike any other culture in the world, hosting a guest and offering them the tea holds special importance in the Moroccan society. While the guest drinks tea, the host ensures that the pots remain filled with leaves and sugar. The Moroccan handmade teapots are kept filled, and at boiling temperature so as to maintain the taste of the drink.
The older practice was to prepare the tea in front of the visitors. All the ingredients were taken, and the tea was prepared while the guest witnessed the whole process. However, things have changed now. The old tradition is no longer in force. As in most cultures of the world, the tea is now prepared in the kitchen and then presented to the guests. At the end of the first round of tea, the host adds modest-sized new bouquets of mint, and the host themselves fills the Moroccan handmade teapots with boiling water.
The traditional practice suggests presenting the tea at least three times. And every time you taste it, the tea gives you a unique flavor and relief.
Ingredients and Preparation
The tea is made of healthy natural ingredients. As the name suggests, the green leaves and mint leaves combine to give you the experience of unforgettable taste. The process of preparing the Moroccan mint tea involves mixing green leaves with mint leaves in the boiling water and the addition of sugar.
The host starts making the tea by first washing the teapots and tea trays. Then comes the sugar and when the water is poured in, the teapot is placed on fire to boil. Before finally mixing it, the tea is allowed to submerge for a few minutes. After that, the host fills the glasses sitting on the tea trays, specified for tea, halfway while pouring the tea from the teapot set.
Aside from regular teakettles for making the drink, the trend to use electric teapot is on the rise among the Moroccans.
As implied by the name, Morocco mint tea has two important ingredients in it which contribute to its taste, and tradition. Mint and green leaves are mixed in a special manner along with boiling water, and the addition of sugar enhances the superior taste of the tea.
The simplest method to prepare the mint tea lies in the following steps
• In a teapot, be it a simple or electric teapot, add two teaspoons of tea leaves with the boiling water and allow the mixture to boil for 10-15 minutes.
• Once done, filter the mixture into a stainless teakettle ensuring that coarse powder and unwanted tea leaves are removed. But do not stir or shake the mixture.
• Add sugar when the mixture has been poured into the pot. Normally, it takes one teaspoon of sugar to be added
• Slowly boil the mixture on a mediocre temperature. This process helps the sugar to dissolve into the liquid
• When it is done, you can add fresh mint leaves either to the teapot or even directly on the cup directly and the Moroccan mint tea is ready!
There is actually more than one method to prepare the tea but we have discussed the simplest, and the most widely practiced way.
It is quite possible that due to weather or other conditions, some important ingredients may not be readily available. In winter, for example, mint may go rare! In that case, the mint leaves can be replaced with the leaves of tree wormwood. However, they make the tea sharply bitter. You may also include lemon verbena if you would like to give your tea a distinct lemon flavor.
The tea shops are there as well. They have all the ingredients already sorted out which can be prepared with greater ease. However, the tea loses its taste in this process.
That’s all the relevant info about the traditional and cultural drink of the Moroccan people! Don’t forget to taste it if you ever find yourself in the country.

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