Our trip to morocco has left us with memories of places with breathtaking views and sense of beauty that comes with simplicity. One of the places that we spent a night was an ecolodge about 2 hours from Marrakech in the Agafay desert. It was a beautiful location surrounded by absolute emptiness with the snow capped Atlas mountains as a backdrop.
Moroccan mint tea is another such thing – that is simple and made of very few ingredients, but has so much flavor and complexity. The medina which is undoubtedly the social and cultural center of Marrakesh was a 10 min walk from the Riad that we stayed at. We spent a lot of our time in Marrakesh lost in the labyrinth of streets lined with hundreds of stores selling everything . I cannot even begin to list down the things we saw. It is safe to say that there will be a store for everything one would need in day to day life. There were these dried herbs and spices, exotic colorful cactus flowers and the more mundane things like bread and vegetables.
At the end of the day all four of us. Me, the husband and the two Italian ladies went and sat down in a cafe facing the Jema-El-Fenaa ( the central square in the medina). It was funny how all the table and chairs were faced towards the streets encouraging to do people watching and sipping beverages.
After a long day strolling in the medina, the most popular past-time was sitting in one of the many cafes, sipping mint tea and people-watching. We spent the evening talking, drinking tea and watching tourists. This is a fond memory for me because our friends (Beya & Fausta) showed us the beautiful post cards with Arabic calligraphy of the words “beauty”, “happiness” and “hope”. They also gave me a book mark with their address and email and while we were admiring the beautiful cards, one of them reached out into her wallet and pulled out a four leaf clover and gave it to me. She told us that a four leaf clover is rare and a symbol of good luck and that she wanted us to have it. We were so moved by her gesture. It reminded us that a smile is the same in every language and you can make friends anywhere in the world – language, country, culture and religion are all boundaries that people have created and they cannot stop love.
I will never forget this beautiful trip and the amazing people we met and and I’m glad I took time to capture an image of our table. The four clover leaf is one of the most precious gifts I have got in my life 🙂
Today’s recipe is inspired from the tea that we had that evening. Traditionally the tea is made in berrad.
It is refreshing and very satisfying especially during the cold weathers.
- 1 Tablespoon Black tea powder (I used red label black tea)
- 3 cups Water
- 1 Rose bud
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2-3 Dried lemon leaves
- 1 teaspoon Dried mint leaves
- 1 Star anise
- ½ Tablespoon Cumin flowers
- 1 inch Licorice.
- 1 Sprig of mint leaves
- Sugar (optional)
Makes 4-5 cups of tea
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- Boil 3 cups of water in a pot, I used this glass teapot that I bought from amazon.
- Add one tablespoon of black tea powder to the infuser and boil for 5-7 min on medium heat.
- Switch off the flame. Clean the infuser and add rose bud, cinnamon, lemon leaves, dried mint leaves, star anise, cumin flowers and licorice.
- Steep the tea for 2-4 min.
- Add fresh mint leaves to the pot and steep for 2 more minutes.
- The licorice gives little sweetness to the tea but if you prefer you may add sugar as per your liking.
- Swish the water around inside the teapot in a circular motion and pour into tea cup.
- Pour the cup back into the teapot. This helps in mixing everything together and also helps in cooling the tea to some extent before drinking.
You are ready to serve. However the way you pour the tea into the cups is very important. According to the Moroccan culture the height to which the teapot is raised for pouring the tea signifies the stature of the guest to whom the tea is being served. This helps the tea become more frothy and enjoyable – another distinctive culture thing in Morocco.
Garnish with mint leaves if you prefer.
Me and the husband loved the tea so much that we made it a habit to have a cup of mint tea an hour before sleeping.
It is very relaxing and helps in having a much better sleep and we are loving this new tradition that we have created in our home 🙂
- Do not boil any of the other ingredients except the black tea powder.
- Mint tea is can served any time of the day. Taking into consideration of the caffeine content in the black tea powder.
I hope you enjoy making this amazing tea 🙂 and do let me know how the experience was.