Is there anything more satisfying than a steaming glass of hot, sweet and refreshing mint tea?
Moroccans are famous for the kind hospitality and drinking mint tea is a huge part of their culture. If you’ve read any of my Morocco posts so far then you will have realised that virtually every activity involved a glass of mint tea.
Haggling at a market and trying to buy that dream leather satchel? – “Come inside, my friend, have a glass of mint tea.”
Just hiked through the High Atlas Mountains? – What better refreshment than a glass of mint tea.
Camping in the Sahara Desert? – Warm up with some tea, huddle around some candles and tell stories into the night.
Just arrived at a new hotel after a long day of travelling? – Sit down and relax and have some tea.
Visiting the home of a local family to have a traditional dinner? – Break the ice with a sweet glass of tea.
I could go on but I think you get the picture…
I’m a Northerner born and bred so I can appreciate the importance of a good cuppa (we drink a lot of tea up north). I also know that the ceremony of tea is just as important, if not more important, than the drinking of the tea itself. It’s about bringing people together and being a welcoming and gracious host and providing your guests with refreshment. But it’s also about holding something warm and comforting between your hands as you chat about your day.
It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking a cup of English Breakfast Tea, coffee, fruit tea, green tea or mint tea, you can’t beat a good cuppa.
The Traditional Moroccan Tea Ceremony
I was so pleased to discover that the Moroccan Tea Ceremony isn’t just something performed for tourists and still occurs in your average household, especially for formal occasions.
The tea is served in an ornate metal tea pot and drunk from decorated little glasses not much bigger than a shot glass. They’re placed on a metal tray and the host will sit (usually on the floor) to begin the ceremony.
Green tea leaves and mint leaves are added to the tea pot with boiling water. The tea is left to steep for at least 10 minutes before being poured back and forth between another stainless steel pot to allow the flavours to infuse.
It’s time to get sweet and a lot of sugar is added (let’s not think about how much sugar!) and the tea is poured from a height into the little glasses. Pouring from a height produces a nice foam to the tea but I think it’s more for effect.
Your host will continually top up your tea and most Moroccans will happily sit and chat to you for as long as you keep drinking.
If you want to bring home the Moroccan tea experience then you can find gorgeous little teapots and glasses at most of the markets. Remember to haggle and, if you play your cards right, you could be invited in to the store for a Moroccan tea ceremony of your own.