One thing I definitely enjoyed about Morocco was the mint tea. The first time I had it was really special. It was in the parking lot outside of the airport in Casablanca. My husband had packed some for when he picked me up after my flight, to welcome me there. I thought it was very romantic how he poured it from the beautiful silver teapot while we sat behind the car.
On the way to his home, we stopped in the city. One of the things I remember from that day happened soon after we started walking around. Some people brought us large bags of clothes to sit on, and then a boy brought out a silver tray with a pot of mint tea on it. He set it up on a box, and served us the tea. I never figured out why they did it, but it was really sweet. It was a very pleasant surprise!
I have learned that there is a traditional way to make and serve the tea in Morocco. It is made and served in silver teapots, and they drink it from glasses instead of mugs or teacups. The tea pot is held about 6 – 8 inches above the glasses, and then poured back into the pot a few times before finally being served. That helps create the foam at the top that gives it a special taste.
During my visits to Morocco, I had many cups of that delicious tea. Of course, I wanted to figure out how to enjoy some while at home as well. So, we were on a quest.
The tea they use as a ‘base’ in Morocco is loose leaf green tea. We found a brand here called Temple of Heaven. It’s a “special gunpowder” tea from China, and is the same kind they use there. We found it at HMart, and it can also be found online. I read that it’s called “gunpowder” because of the way it’s rolled into little pellets that resemble grains of gunpowder.
The next part of the mint tea is fresh spearmint, although some people like to use peppermint instead (which is much stronger). We were lucky that the house we bought had some spearmint already growing in the back yard. It’s a large patch, blocked off by the stones of the sidewalk and patio. The interesting part is that we had no idea about that when we bought the house, because we bought it in the winter time. It was several months afterwards that the mint sprung back to life. Now we only have to walk into the back yard when we want some tea. At least in the summertime when it’s growing, we can! Mint can also be found many places. You might be able to find seeds online to grow your own. We’ve seen mint at large hardware stores that sell plants, grocery stores, and even produce stores such as Gentile’s. Sometimes, you can find plants that you can grow at home, and other times you’ll just find stems of cut mint. You can trim the mint plant when you need it, and it will quickly grow back. Cutting it regularly can help it grow fuller, just like basil. If you decide to grow mint plants, make sure to keep them in a flower pot, or in a sectioned off area in your yard. Once established, it spreads like a weed, and can soon take over!
Of course, my husband was the one who made the tea at home at first. Now I also know how to make it. It is made from the green tea, the mint, and lots of sugar. In Morocco, they put the tea leaves directly in the water after it boils, but here we use tea balls. Either way, it is delicious, and smells heavenly. It also reminds me of my trips to Morocco.