Watching the process of aromatic mint tea being brewed will leave you feeling relaxed and may inspire you to feel more admiration and love for tea then you may believed was possible. With respect to the timely process of making the tea, Moroccans adhere to the saying “Inshas Allah”, which means with god willing, all good things will come with time.
It is believed that tea was first introduced to Morocco in the 18th century, and began spreading through the country in the mid-1800s at the time the trade between the Maghreb and Europe started flourishing. It is reported that Sultan Moulay Ismail received many bags of tea and sugar as gifts and recompenses given by European envoys in order to release European prisoners. Moroccans quickly developed a fondness for the tea, but adapted it to their own ways by adding mint.
Green tea is thought to be healthier due to the high level of anti-oxidants it contains and may contribute to a longer life expectancy. The main provider of tea to Morocco remains China. According to the Moroccan trade ministry, Morocco imported more than $56 million worth of Chinese tea during the first half of 2006. Morocco is considered the first importer of Chinese green tea worldwide.
The method of preparation of Atai is relatively complex compared to methods used elsewhere. A large quantity of hard sugar cones or lumps (5 tea spoons for every spoon of tea) is used, and fresh mint is also an essential ingredient.
Tea is cleaned with boiling water before being dried. This removes dust from shipping and supposedly makes the tea less bitter. Tea and boiling water are combined, and may be boiled further for several minutes. After that, sugar and mint are added and mixed into a teapot with a long, curved spout. The sugar may also be combined with the tea and water in the first infusion, rather than with the mint after brewing. Using a traditional curved spout allows the tea to be poured into tiny glasses from a height of approximately half a meter to form a foamy head. It is then returned once or twice to the teapot for a good mix.
Mint tea, the national Moroccan drink, is so important in daily interactions that it is often jokingly referred to as Berber whiskey. If you visit a shop in a souk or visit someone’s home in Morocco, it is customary that they prepare a several glasses of mint tea to honor your visit. It is customary to drink at least three glasses before or after a meal. Furthermore, no business deal can be closed without a cup of this emblematic tea.
The ritual of making the tea is a leisurely one and if you are invited to help make the tea, you should feel flattered. Key ingredients for the preparation include a round-bellied teapot with a conical top, several small glasses, two tall glasses to assist in brewing, several cubes of sugar, sprigs of mint, and a substantial amount of green tea imported from china.
If you would like to try to make authentic Moroccan tea, the following is recipe that will bring happiness to all five senses:
Recipe: Moroccan Mint Tea
-Upon readying the ingredients, place the grains of green tea into the empty teapot.
-Use boiling hot water from another kettle and fill teapot.
-Leave tea for one minute to infuse the flavor of green tea. Doing so will help to purify the tea and release its spirit.
-Pour out the dirty water into one of the tall glasses. Repeat this at least one more time. With each cleanse, you will notice the color of the water becoming clearer.
-Next, place to pot bellied pot by warm fire to warm tea. When tea is warmed, place fresh mint leaves and 3-4 cubes of sugar into the pot. Leave for one minute to intensify flavor.
-Last process is to pour tea into a tall glass and back in the pot to evenly mix elements. Repeat 5-6 times.
Keep in mind that if you are the server, it is your duty to drink the first glass in order to be certain the mint, sugar, and sugar proportions are correct.
Upon knowledge that the tea is appropriate for serving, fearlessly pour it into the small glasses at a dramatic distanced height displaying the fall of clean and precious stream of tea. Although, the process takes longer than making tea in the western fashion, once you taste your fragrant creation, you may never want to make tea the quick way again.