Moroccan mint tea (also called touareg (or tuareg) tea, mint tea or Maghrebi mint tea) is a combination of green tea (usually gunpowder tea), mint leaves and sugar. It is poured with an extravagant technique – lifting the tea pot high above the glass – to produce a foam on the top of the poured tea.
In Morocco, great pride is taken in the tea culture.Green tea has strong antioxidant elements and is high in caffeine. The mint helps to give the tea a refreshing taste.
The tradition of Moroccan tea began in Morocco and then spread throughout north Africa and southern Spain. Having missed out on the Turkish coffee influence by not being part of the Ottoman Empire, Morocco was able to hold onto its tea culture.
The tea is served throughout the day and especially when guests visit. The tea is often served three times. The amount of time each serving has been allowed to steep is illustrated in this proverb:
The first glass is as gentle as life,
The second glass is as strong as love,
The third glass is as bitter as death.
Moroccan mint tea tends to be sweeter in the north than in the south of Morocco and some places also add pine nuts. Sheeba (leaves of the wormwood tree) or lemon verbena leaves can be used instead of mint.
How Much [Should I Drink]:
If you are a fan of green tea and/or mint, then this tea is likely to suit you. You may wish to sweeten it yourself, however, as the tea is often made with a lot of sugar.
Pas Op! (Watch Out!):
Moroccan mint tea is regularly served to guests and it can be impolite to refuse to drink some. This can add a complication when it comes to shopping in the souks and nearby shops as tea will often be offered allowing the stall/shop owner to show you more and more things that you should buy.