Monthly Archives: August 2011

MOROCCAN HOT MINT TEA “ATAY”

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Moroccan mint tea is served before and after meals. It is both sweet and refreshing. In traditional Moroccan culture, it is usually prepared by the elder men of the family. There is no one way to make mint tea as it is very subjective. The best tea maker of the family is guaranteed to always be invited and honored.  The following recipe is based on my late grandfather’s way of preparing tea.

INGREDIENTS
– 4 to 5 cups of water
– 1 x large bunch of fresh Spearmint (peppermint will not do)
– 1 tbsp of green tea (Gun Powder Tea is preferred and you can find it in oriental/chinese stores)
– 4 to 5 table spoons of sugar

PREPARATION
Set the water to a full boil. Place the green tea in the teapot. Add 1/4 cup of boiling water, let it sit for 1/2 minute and then pour it out. This allows the tea leaves to open completely.

Add all of the rinsed mint inside the teapot, then add 4-5 tbsp of sugar (to taste). Top with  boiling hot water and let it boil for 2 minutes. Take off stove top and let it sit for another minute.

Pour 1 full glass of hot mint tea and pour it back into the teapot. Repeat this twice. This allows for the sugar to mix without breaking any mint leaves (breaking of mint leaves while mixing with a spoon makes tea a bit bitter).

You are now ready to serve Moroccan hot mint tea, preferably with cookies. Hold the teapot a little high from the glass so that the tea foams as it is poured into the tea glasses. This is called the “Tea Turbin”. It is only tradition and it is believed that the larger the turbin the better the tea.

It is optional to add two drops of orange blossom water as it is added only during ceremonial gatherings.

Enjoy!
 
Although it is not necessary, if seeking the full authentic experience, you can find find Moroccan tea pots and beautiful colorful Moroccan tea glasses at Berber Trading Company.

 
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