Mint tea is a symbol of hospitality an d is offered to guests upon arrival. The serving of the tea acquired a ceremonial ritual and is served in front of guests and upon high ocassions, from ornated Victorian-style tea pots on silver trays with tiny liegs and small ornamental colored glasses, from a great height to allow a foam to form on the top of the tea.
The typical green tea used is a gunpowder tea variety imported from China.
Moroccan mint tea or atay is sweet and refreshing. In traditional Moroccan culture, it is usually prepared by the elder men of the family.
- 4 c. water
- 1 large bunch of fresh spearmint (not peppermint), rinsed
- 1 tbsp of green tea (Gun Powder Tea is preferred)
- 4 T. sugar
Set the water to a full boil. Place the green tea in the teapot (Moroccan silver one preferred, but you can use any vessel). 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 the mint to the teapot, then add the sugar, more or less to taste. Top with boiling hot water and let it boil for 2 minutes. Take off stove top and let steep 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. Do not break the mint leaves while mixing as it leaves the tea bitter and do not allow to steep before 2 minutes before serving or straining to a serving pot, as this will cause a lot of acid to build.
You are now ready to serve Moroccan hot mint tea, preferably with cookies if serving after a meal. 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 turban, and the larger the turban the better the tea.
For ceremonial gatherings, two drops of orange blossom water is added.