My strange journey to learn how to make the perfect cup of Moroccan tea

I traveled to a small town in Morocco to teach you to make and serve this ancient tea.

Print
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Level: Easy
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 minutes

The locals call it "Moroccan whiskey." Moroccan mint tea has no alcohol in it, but it's such an important part of Moroccan social life that people drink it the way Americans might drink beer or coffee together.

That's probably because Moroccan mint tea is delicious, especially when it's cold out. Americans might just throw a tea bag in some water, but Moroccans really put love into their tea. They also have a really beautiful, mysterious method of serving it.

After staying in Morocco for a few weeks, I decided to figure out how to make and serve this exotic tea. To get the ingredients, I traveled from Sidi Kaouki, the small village I'm staying in, to Essaouira, the nearby city. This was harder than I expected. Taxis often work like shuttles in Morocco, so I had to wait around for other passengers to come by. I stood at the taxi stop for about an hour, nervously checking the time every once in a while; I wasn't sure what time shops closed in Morocco.

moroccan mint teaThis kind of tea is centuries old. (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Eventually, I gave up and paid the whole taxi (which was thankfully way less expensive than it would have been in the U.S.) and got to the city. I wandered around for hours through outdoor marketplaces, looking for ingredients. Just when I was almost ready to give up, I found a man selling mint leaves from a tent by the side of the road. We communicated mostly via makeshift sign language, and I acquired a big sprig of mint.

I brought my ingredients back to Sidi Kaouki and asked some locals to show me how to make and serve traditional Moroccan mint tea. So here you go! I'm including ingredient quantities because I'd look silly writing a recipe without them, but the locals don't actually take measurements very seriously. It's really all about how you like your tea.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 3 teaspoons loose green tea
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups water

Directions

Boil water.

Pour the boiled water and loose tea into a kettle, and put the kettle over medium heat. Let it simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

Take the kettle off the heat and quickly add the mint leaves and sugar.

Pour the tea into your cup, then pour it back into the kettle. Hold the kettle a couple feet above the cup as you pour. Repeat this step a few times so the sugar fully mixes.

Enjoy! Or as the Berber folks here say, p'scharacha!

Related Topics: Drinks and smoothies

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen