Tea in Morocco: a Symbol of Hospitality

You can’t go to Morocco and not have a glass of tea.

Moroccans drink it all day long at any occasion. To start the day, finish a meal, take a break, start a negotiation, etc. They never miss an opportunity to warm the teapot!

Tea is usually offered in restaurants and if you enter a shop and seem interested in the products, the owner will certainly offer you a little glass.

I say glass and not cup because that’s how they drink it. A little, elegant and decorated glass. At first I wondered: Why so small? After a few days, I figured out that I wouldn’t be able to finish bigger glasses because you can only have so much tea in a day and they offer it all day long! Moreover, their tea is SO SWEET that we would certainly end up with diabetes.

More than anything, tea is used as a way to show hospitality in Morocco. And you can easily understand why: in a country so hot, refusing water could cause a person’s death – especially in the desert.

There are 2 main types of teas or ‘hospitalities’ as Moroccans say:

  • Mint tea
  • Berber tea

They are both very tasty, surprisingly refreshing and offer many digesting benefits.
Here are the recipes if you want to try.

Moroccan mint tea

Moroccan traditional mint tea:
For 4 servings

  • 2 teaspoons of green tea
  • a big bunch of fresh mint
  • 16 to 20 sugar cubes

Put the green tea in a little glass and pour boiling water on it. Wait a minute and then throw away the water and keep the tea. The point is to diminish the bitterness of the tea. Place the tea in the bottom of a little teapot. Add the fresh mint on the top (you don’t need to cut it or take of the stalk).
Add enough boiling water to cover the mix. make sure that all the leaves are immersed in the water otherwise they can take a burned taste with the steam.
Finish by adding the sugar.

Traditional way of stirring and serving:
After 5 mins, pour some tea in a little glass and then put the liquid back in the teapot. Repeat few times until you think all the tea has been mixed.
Finally, pour in the serving glass holding the teapot very high and the glass very low. The aim here is make sure that all the aromas are well blended and to create a little foam.

Drink very hot!

Berber tea
Berber traditional tea:
For 6 servings

  • 2 teaspoons of mint green tea
  • a hand full of dried verbena leafs
  • 2 little rose buds
  • a piece of cinnamon stick (3 cm)
  • 3 pods of cardamom
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 dried little juniper berries
  • 6 rocks of sugar

Again, put the green tea in a little glass and pour boiling water on it. Wait a minute and then throw away the water and keep the tea.
Add the rest of the ingredients in the same order as the list. Fill with enough boiling water to cover the mix (around 750ml).
Let infuse 3 minutes and then you can start stirring and serving it like described in the recipe above.

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