Moroccan Tea

The summer is crazy busy and I apologize for no posts in quite a while… anyway… I am going to let you in on a little secret of mine. In the real world/ day job I work with refugees (provide basic needs). I had the privilege this summer of cooking for a group of 15 North Africans at a camp we put on for them. I have become good friends with some of the men I serve, so I told them that I was going to try to cook their food for them to give them a little taste of home. All of them were excited and I was flooded with ideas and secret family recipes in mixed broken English, French and Arabic. Over the next couple of posts I will try to describe what came out of the kitchen.

What I will describe first earned me the title of “Honorary Moroccan”. In Morocco, tea is a serious thing, not the floor sweepings you get in a little baggie drowned in hot water. Tea is hot, sweet and intoxicating with the pungent aroma of mint. It is essential that you start with the correct ingredients.
Here’s a list of what you will need:
  • Chinese gunpowder green tea~1 tbsp
  • White sugar~3 tbsp (or more to taste)
  • Fresh mint~1 small bunch
  • Water~2-3 cups
  • Stovetop teapot or kettle
  • Small clear glasses~4 (like the one in the picture)

And now… Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Set your water to the flame and bring it to a good boil.
  2. Add the tea and the sugar and let it boil for 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the mint and let steep for 3 minutes.
  4. Now for the critical part. (can you feel the suspense??) You now take your steeped tea and pour it into one of your glasses. You should do this from a little bit of a height to create white foam on top of your tea. You then take this tea and pour it back into the pot and repeat this procedure 3 or 4 times. This accomplishes a couple of things. Firstly it mixes the sugar so it does not sit on the bottom of the pot. Secondly it aerates the tea to increase the aroma.
  5. Once aerated you can now pour your glasses of tea and enjoy, imagining you are immersed in the land of colorful tiles, sand and mosques.

Thank you Hakim for sharing your tea knowledge with me!

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