Evoke the feeling of being in a traditional Marrakech souk by making this refreshing herbal beverage which has a whole host of health benefits.
Moroccan mint tea, actually a green tea steeped with spearmint and other herbs, has become synonymous with the culture and cuisine of Morocco. Its low caffeine content means that it can be drunk any time of the day and is traditionally given to welcome guests.
Introduced in the 12th century, Moroccan mint tea is as popular as ever today as drinkers enjoy its sweet flavour and revitalising properties. Many also chose it for its health benefits as it is full of antioxidants and relieves a number of symptoms including indigestion, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also a good choice for anxiety sufferers asit has a mild sedative and calming effect.
It’s easy to whip up a batch of your own delicious traditional Moroccan Mint Tea to energise you during your workday or as a relaxing evening drink. All you will need is:
- 1 tablespoon loose Chinese gunpowder green tea
- 5 cups boiling water
- Granulated sugar or honey – to taste
- 1 large bunch fresh mint
- Selection of other herbs (optional). A sprig of sage, wormwood, lemon verbena, wild thyme are all good choices
- A teapot/ or stovetop teapot
- Tea glasses
- Pour a cup of boiling water into the teapot and swish it around to warm the pot before pouring it out
- Add the tablespoon of loose gunpowder green tea to the teapot
- Add a cup of boiling water to the teapot and let it brew for 1 minute then pour out the liquid into a tea glass and save it to one side
- Wash the tea leaves by adding another cup of boiling water to the pot, swirl the water around to ‘wash’ the leaves, drain and discard this liquid
- Wash your fresh mint and other herbs if using in a bowl of cold water and drain
- Fill the pot about two-thirds full with boiling water and add the reserved tea and mint and other herbs if using
- Allow the tea to brew for 3-4 minutes
- Add sugar to taste and a few mint sprigs and let it brew for 3 minutes more
- Moroccan tea is traditionally mixed not by stirring but by pouring the just-steeped tea into a glass and then pour the tea back into the pot. Repeat this process four or five times.
- To serve add a sprig of fresh mint to each glass and pour into in small heatproof glasses and relish a moment of calm as you inhale the sweet aroma of the infused mint leaves
Moroccan mint tea is an excellent accompaniment to light snacks of nuts and dried fruits, it also complements traditional Moroccan cuisine and acts as a refreshing after dinner palette cleanser.