We’ll just simply call it mint tea and tell you all you need to know about the most common beverage in Morocco: the basic background of it, the dos-and-don’ts of drinking behaviour, we’ll even tell you how to make your own mint tea.
So don’t feel that once you leave Morocco (if you ever do so), that you have to leave your beloved tea-drinking habits behind.
Give this guide a quick run through and you’ll be saying ‘Na’am’ or ‘Oui’ to every treasured cup that you’ll be offered. You’ll even be able to impress the vendors with your insider knowledge. Hey, if you’re lucky, they may even knock a few dirhams off that leather bag you’ve been dying to buy.
* Mint tea is the heart of social events, ceremonies and the odd business exchange. It is served by the man, the head of the family, not the woman in this case, interestingly. It really is mint tea galore in Morocco, with it playing a huge part in the culture. Legend has it that Moroccans drink so much mint tea because it was the favourite drink of the Prophet…
* Mint tea is a drink of Moroccan hospitality. It is poured generously time and time again in the company of guests. It is served, three times in fact, with each glass meaning something completely different – round one is said to be ‘as bitter as life’, number two is ‘as strong as love’ and the final glass is ‘as gentle as death’. Out of politeness, all three offerings should be drunk.
* Whilst drinking, you can throw out those Western etiquettes, sipping loudly is the craze here. It actually shows a sign of good appreciation. Make all the mint tea drinking noise you want – the kids will love this opportunity, giggling all the way through!
*On your many magical and thrilling journeys around the souks, you may have seen Moroccan markets serving mint tea as a prelude to the never-ending haggling process, where everyone is trying desperately to get that kaftan a few dirhams cheaper. A vendor may very well offer you a mint tea; however only accept unless you are seriously considering buying something from him/her.
*Once a mint tea has been offered, you have to accept, it’s considered impolite otherwise. In general, as a sign of appreciation, you must try everything you are offered. Embrace and enjoy!
How to make mint tea at home:
- Rinse the teapot with boiling hot water. This will wash away any residue.
- In a teapot, combine two teaspoons of tea leaves with half a litre of boiling water, allowing it to brew for a minute or so.
- Stuff your handful of mint firmly down inside the pot.
- Add sugar. You will without a doubt find out that Moroccans love their sugar in their mint teas.
- Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then stir lightly.
- Finally, take the absolute pleasure in drinking your Moroccan mint tea
- Enjoy every sip. (And remember to make some noise whilst doing so!)