It’s over 30 degrees outside and you want to cheer up, refresh yourself and stop thinking about the cauldrons of hell? Try the traditional Moroccan tea, which has been saving the whole of North Africa from the heat for centuries. Morocco is not where tea is grown, but today it is one of the largest tea importers in the world. Here they prefer Chinese green ganpauder – but they brew it differently than in China. The Moroccans have created their own tea ceremony, and it has a very important place in everyday life.
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History of the drink
On the internet you can easily find the legend of how in the 19th century a British merchant, who was carrying Chinese tea for sale, had to change his route because of an unexpected outbreak of hostilities, and accidentally ended up in Morocco. To prevent the precious cargo from spoiling, the merchant sold it to the locals, who, in turn, invented a new kind of tea based on green Chinese tea
There is another curious legend associated with Moroccan tea. It is known that Morocco has been of particular interest to European states since the 1700s. According to some reports, around the 18th century, the Queen of England sent to the Moroccan sultan porcelain tea cups of fine work and a detailed description of the tea ceremony, which Great Britain is still famous for.
New traditions allegedly came to the heart of the local nobility, and gradually took root, but the main thing in this legend – the mention that already at that time Moroccans were preparing and drinking their own drink based on green tea with the addition of spices, mint and citrus fruits.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to say exactly when the recipe for Moroccan tea was invented because historians have not yet been able to establish this fact. But it is obvious that the tradition of tea drinking in Morocco has its roots in antiquity and the drink could hardly have appeared in the 19th or even 18th century.
How did Moroccan tea come to be?
The history of this aromatic drink began in the middle of the 19th century. A British trader, bringing “gunpowder” tea from China, was forced to adjust the route. The reason for that was the military actions that were breaking out all over the place. The Briton ended up in Morocco. It was there that he sold the tea. This is how the residents of Morocco got a delicious drink, and the trader found a new outlet.
But the story does not end there. “Ganpowder became the basis for mint tea, which became extremely popular not only in Morocco. People began to drink it in Tunisia and Algeria, in Spain and France. By the way, this tea is also called Maghrib tea, Tunisian tea, Tuareg.
Tea drinking traditions in Morocco
As in many other Eastern countries, tea is a traditional symbol of hospitality in Morocco. It is offered to any guest, especially to a respected or noble one, and tea is used for serious conversation and relaxed conversation and for solving many important issues. To refuse the offered tea means to show disrespect to the hosts of the house and to show oneself as an extremely impolite guest.
Interestingly, in Morocco the brewing of tea is usually done by men, although all the cooking in the house is always done by women, as is customary almost everywhere in the East. This also emphasizes the special attitude both to the drink itself and to the tea-drinking ceremony, which is perceived almost as a religious rite, in which women are excluded.
The Moroccans use expensive and beautiful dishes for making tea, which is also extremely resistant to high temperatures. The fact is that the traditional drink in Morocco is not just brewed, but boiled over a fire and then poured into cups.
Another interesting feature is the presence of a lot of foam in the tea, which is also considered a sign of respect for the guest. To achieve this effect, the drink from the brewer is poured into the cup from a decent height. At the same time, the stream of liquid has time to be “saturated” with air, and half of the cup of properly brewed and served Moroccan tea is precisely the airy foam.
For this you will need:
- A metal kettle (while adding the main ingredients, the drink stands on the fire, you need to stir);
- mint (you can fill the kettle completely to the lid);
- sugar (can be regular or burnt).
- green tea is brewed and infused for 25 minutes;
- filtered and poured into a metal kettle, which is placed on the fire;
- sugar is added;
- Mint comes last.
You don’t have to put the mint in the kettle, you can just place it in glasses. It’s easy to make Moroccan mint tea.
Brewing with a “rinse”
Another ritual that accompanies the process of Another ritual that accompanies the process of making tea is rinsing.
- To give the tea a special flavor, it is rinsed several times. If you follow the rules of preparation, you need to rinse at least 4 times.
- The first water is not thrown away, because it contains the soul of the drink. From a scientific point of view, it is the first water that gets the most essential oils, the source of flavor and aroma. Both points of view are valid.
- Water from the rest of the rinse is poured out – with each subsequent rinse there are fewer and fewer tannins in the brew, which makes the drink light.
At the end of the rinses, pour water from the first, wait for boiling, add sugar and mint.
Cinnamon and spice recipe
The spice drink is a real treat. You need:
- 2 tbsp. large-leaf tea;
- mint leaves;
- orange and lemon;
- spoonful of cinnamon;
- 3 tbsp. tops of sugar;
- liter of water.
How to cook:
- Shred the zest of the fruit in thin julienne;
- squeeze out the juice;
- crush the mint with your hands;
- rinse the tea leaves themselves with boiling water;
- melt the sugar in a pan and cook until brown;
- prepared: burnt sugar, mint, spices (cloves and cinnamon) lemon juice and zest – put together with the brew in a teapot;
- all pour boiling water and wait until it boils, while stirring;
- then turn off the heat, the drink infused for about 20 minutes.
These recommendations are not a dogma – by realizing the charm of the drink, you can expand its taste range to your own taste.
There is a suitable option for a variety of preferences. Verbena and wormwood, thyme, and spices are added to different kinds of brews. Moroccan tea can be brewed with milk. Various fruits and citrus zest will complement the wide range for the African mood.
Useful properties and contraindications
In the East, tea with mint is loved for its pronounced refreshing effect, which is very relevant in hot countries. When it is cold, it is an excellent tonic, while when it is hot, it calms the nervous system and relieves muscle tension. In addition, mint tea is very good for the gastrointestinal tract. With it you can relieve colic, treat stomach upsets and consequences of poisoning.
This tea contains maximum antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins, and the famous “foam” may well serve as a kind of “oxygen cocktail” for the body. If you add spices and citrus fruits to the tea, the drink becomes a healing drink for colds or inflammatory processes in the body. And mint itself keeps the bones firm, serves as a prevention of osteoporosis, and improves the quality of tooth enamel. But at the same time, not everyone can drink Moroccan tea. It is not recommended for people with low blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, or problems with urination.
There is an opinion that mint tea is contraindicated for nursing mothers, because this plant can inhibit the production of breast milk – but in practice this effect is expressed differently in different women, and most mothers safely drink mint tea without any consequences. There is an opinion that mint tea is contraindicated for nursing mothers, because this plant can inhibit the production of breast milk – but in practice this effect is expressed differently in different women, and most mothers safely drink mint tea without any consequences.
Benefits and harms of Moroccan tea
The mixture of mint and green tea gives an excellent taste and aroma, in addition, this drink does not have any harmful impurities.
If you drink Moroccan tea regularly, it helps in treating various kinds of ailments:
- Ideal for digestion, for this reason it is often drunk after a meal. The tea blend stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices and speeds up digestion. It relaxes the muscles of the abdomen and provides relief from stomach cramps. In addition, it is effective in the fight against constipation, flatulence and food poisoning.
- Thanks to the mint tea affects the nervous system, a person relaxes. It is ideal after a stressful day and for nervous tension. It is recommended during the premenstrual period, for women after 40 years, as well as for all those who suffer from neuralgia. Moroccan tea is a great solution for insomnia.
- Studies have shown that green tea in combination with peppermint, has a positive effect on mental abilities. The antioxidants it contains have a positive effect on learning and remembering.
- Peppermint beverage contains menthol, which is very necessary during the periods when the symptoms of colds. It eases breathing, cures the cough, removes phlegm. Soothes irritated airways.
- The drink refreshes the breath. Drinking tea one can still feel its taste for a long time. Ideal for those struggling with bad breath.
Who is contraindicated to Moroccan tea?
Despite the rich range of therapeutic properties, the tea drink can be harmful. It is contraindicated for children under the age of 4 years. With caution drink during pregnancy, during this period it is better to do with less concentrated drinks with the addition of mint. An allergic reaction to menthol is also possible in asthmatics. Another contraindication to the use of tea is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in combination with which mint can cause heartburn. Because of its sugar content, it is contraindicated for those with diabetes.
How to make Moroccan mint tea at home
There are many recipes for such tea, and very many of them can be made at home. And it is not even necessary to replace Moroccan mint with domestic “analogues” – you can buy it in special tea shops or order it online.
For the original recipe, it is better to use Chinese green tea, not necessarily expensive. In a teapot, put two teaspoons of tea and pour ½ liter of boiling water, and then infuse for 15 minutes.
The infusion, without stirring, but straining, pour into another container – in which you can boil the tea. There, too, add sugar. The resulting mixture bring to a boil on medium heat, and just before it boils add to the same mint leaves. The drink must be poured from a height of at least half a meter, otherwise it won’t have any foam. Since Moroccan tea is also very beautiful, it is recommended to serve it in transparent, heat-resistant glasses so that you can see both the foam and the mint leaves in the drink.
Other popular recipes
Moroccan tea can not only be brewed, but also brewed in a more familiar way. It is a variant with mint and cinnamon – for those who do not like to spend a lot of time cooking. It can also be made with cinnamon and orange, although the traditional recipe uses lime.
You will need:
- lime or lemon;
- mint leaves;
- half a stick of cinnamon;
- some cloves, cardamom, and badjan (to taste).
Put all the ingredients for the tea in any suitable container and pour boiling water over it. When the drink cools to about 60 degrees, you can add honey for sweetness. And before serving, the tea is poured into glasses and garnished with fresh mint leaves.
In Morocco itself tourists are often offered the local tea with badjan. It is said that the drink with spices has a specific taste that many foreigners like.
Take two teaspoons of tea, a bunch of mint and a cinnamon stick and put them in a teapot. In the same place, add a teaspoon of anise seeds and a couple of badian stars, crushing them in a mortar, as well as the juice of a lemon or lime. If you will not be able to make a cure, you will have to make a cure for it.
- Rinse the kettle (or liter pot, or pot of the same capacity) with water.
- Pour two tablespoons of green ganpauder tea into the pot and pour in a little boiling water (about a cup). Hold for a minute and let the leaves swell. Drain the liquid into a tea glass.
- You should get amber colored liquid. This is called the “soul of tea” because it contains the full range of tea leaf flavors. Leave the “soul of tea”, it will come in handy later.
- Pour another glass of boiling water into the kettle with the leaves and hold for a minute. Shake the liquid in the kettle and drain the water, it is not needed. As a rule, this infusion looks cloudy: swollen ganpauder rolls get rid of the dust.
- Wash the mint leaves: submerge them in a bowl of water, give them a good shake, and drain the water. Or you can do the same under running water – you’re not in the Sahara, where water is hard to come by, are you?
- So, the tea and mint are ready to brew. Fill the kettle or the pot with two thirds of the mint tea, add the soul of the tea, and turn the heat up to medium. As soon as you see small bubbles appear on the surface, add the mint and sugar. The kettle should be almost full. If there isn’t enough water – add some now.
- Allow the tea to boil. The mint leaves rise to the surface in this phase.
- Remove the kettle from the heat. Do not stir or shake the liquid! Instead of stirring, the Moroccan tea is gently poured into a glass and then poured back into the kettle. This aeration is repeated 4-5 times. Make sure the leaves stay in the kettle, or use a strainer.
As a result of aeration, a small foam should form on the surface.
After aeration, the tea can be served. Pour the tea into cups or bowls about two-thirds to three-quarters full so that there is still room.
Serve with cookies, dried fruit, nuts, or just plain.
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Where to buy Moroccan tea
Basically, ready-to-use blends called “Moroccan tea” are sold in organic food stores, on the Internet, or in specialized store sections. Most often such tea is imported from China, and in Russia there are also widely known products of the Austrian brand Sonnentor, which also produces mint tea with spices according to Moroccan traditions.
Many customers point out the high price of ready-made mixtures and advise to buy all the ingredients separately and make the tea yourself. To make it as traditional as possible, you only need Moroccan mint, which is too different from what grows in Russia. Everything else can easily be found in almost any store.
Moroccan tea: recipe with spices
- coarse leaf green tea – 2 tablespoons;
- fresh mint – 10 grams;
- orange – 1 pc;
- lemon – 1 piece;
- cinnamon – 10 grams;
- cloves – 5 grams;
- sugar – 3 tablespoons;
- water – 1 liter.
The cooking process:
- Wash the lemon well. Remove the zest and cut it into sticks. Squeeze the juice out of the citrus.
- Rinse the orange thoroughly. Remove the zest and cut it into sticks.
- Crush the mint leaves with your fingers.
- Prepare To do this, heat it in a clean, well-heated frying pan until the crystals melt and reach a brown color.
- Pour the brew into a metal teapot and pour 200 ml of boiling water over it. Gently swirl the pot for a few seconds to rinse the leaf. Drain the water.
- Add citrus zest, lemon juice, burnt sugar, mint leaves, cinnamon and cloves to the kettle. Pour the mixture into the kettle with the remaining boiling water.
- Put the kettle on the fire, and bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave for 20 minutes.
- Pour the tea into glasses, garnished with mint leaves.
If you are a tea connoisseur, you must try Moroccan tea, a much-loved and popular drink among the local population. The magical infusion has a pleasant minty taste with a pronounced sweetness. You can try both the classic tea and its spicy variation. Both recipes differ in the simplicity of preparation and availability of the necessary ingredients.
But shouldn’t we talk today about such a drink as Moroccan tea: in particular, to find out how it differs from other products of this kind and what consumers say about it.
Moroccan mint tea is an infusion of mint and sweet green tea, which is a traditional drink for a number of North African states. Over time, the drink spread throughout the Black Continent, and from the server Arab countries it found its way to the market of Western Europe, in particular to Spain and France. Europeans like to drink this tea chilled or even with ice.
In the homeland of mint tea it is always presented to guests. And despite the fact that the cuisine here is strictly a woman’s business, nevertheless it is men who prepare and serve the symbolic drink of hospitality. Visitors should not refuse the offer to sample it, refusal would be a manifestation of impoliteness. Moroccan mint tea is drunk not only during the meal, but is enjoyed throughout the day.
In the most crowded points of the locality, stalls are set up selling the prepared beverage. A passerby for a few coins can buy and drink a glass of the refreshing moisture on the spot. Vendors stand at the stalls, and glasses of tea are displayed on the counter. The utensils may not be seen behind the greenery that dips into the drink and towers over it like a floral bouquet in a vase. A very exotic picture for the eyes of the European tourist. The drink is wonderfully refreshing, especially in the hot climate of Morocco.
In general, the Moroccan tea ceremony is probably the most democratic tea ceremony in the world. Here it is considered that to spend time savoring the scalding beverage is appropriate in any situation in life – in a friendly conversation, during business negotiations, during the celebration of a memorable date and for no reason at all – drink at your pleasure!
Glasses are always put out with a reserve, more than the planned attendance – a perfect way to show that the organizer of the tea party is happy to have invited and unexpected guests.
It is an old Moroccan tradition not to fill a glass halfway, but half at once. When the first portion is finished, they pour more, and again, half. And so they do it repeatedly. They take their tea leisurely, cherishing every sip.
Despite the obvious benefits, the Moroccan drink has contraindications that you should be aware of. These include:
- Childhood up to 6 years of age.
- Chronic low blood pressure.
- Liver and kidney disease.
- Problems with urination.
When choosing a Moroccan mint tea, you should pay attention to the price. The natural product will not be cheap, because the raw materials for its production are expensive in themselves. This drink has a rich harmonious taste and aroma of oriental spices, which is soothing and gives a feeling of peace.
Citrus drink recipe
You can make Moroccan tea in different ways, and its composition may differ in terms of products. You can make an original drink if you add citrus fruits to it.
- Peel the lemon, cut it into slices and squeeze out the juice;
- Do the same with the orange;
- Grate the mint leaves until they become juicy;
- Roll the granulated sugar in a pan;
- Make green tea in the usual way;
- There add all the ingredients, so that there is more mint than citrus;
- In a Moroccan teapot, pour the mixture and fill with boiling water;
- Send it to a small fire and bring it to a boil;
- Infuse the drink for about twenty minutes and fill the glasses.
We sell ready-made Moroccan teas in bags, and they are produced by the Alokozay brand. It is presented on the world market in different flavors and aromas. Alokozay assortment is very large, it contains berry, fruit, and herbal drinks. In addition to these, you can buy Alokozay traditional black tea or green tea with bergamot. So every customer will find his own variant. A brewed Moroccan drink brand Alokozay has a dark green color and leaves a pleasant minty aftertaste. It can be re-cooked.
What is Moroccan mint tea?
While there are many different kinds of mint tisanes, such as mint-chocolate tea, Moroccan tisanes are made with green tea leaves and mint. It usually uses spiked mint, from the genus spicata, also known as nana mint. Stronger varieties, such as Ganpauder, are usually used to make the tea.
This drink has a rather sweet taste, and the astringent properties of the mint add a sour, bitter flavor that balances out the sweetness. Jokingly referred to as Berber whiskey, this type of mint is generally strong and has a rich flavor and an invigorating, refreshing aroma.
There are two methods of brewing: a simple one and a more complex one that brings out the flavors better. Below we will look at both methods in more detail. In the simple method, green tea is brewed using hot water and allowed to infuse before adding sugar and mint. In the complex method, the brew is purified in several steps, and fresh mint is boiled to give the drink a rich flavor.
Mint tea is important in the social life and culture of Maghreb. In Morocco, tea shops are replacing cafeterias, and they are increasingly found on the streets of European and American cities. Bazaar vendors offer tea to passersby sitting on plastic stools, and lounges and reception rooms often offer refreshments of this delicious nectar.
Moroccan tea is traditionally brewed and served by heads of families to guests as a sign of hospitality. It is usually served in at least three cups per person, and in some areas refusing it is considered a rude or even insulting gesture. The taste of this hot drink also changes with each cup, with the first cup usually tasting the weakest and the last one tasting stronger and more tart.