How to Make Moroccan Tea

Mint tea isn’t just a drink in Morocco–it is a sign of hospitality, friendship, and tradition. Since this drink is so popular, it is served all day long, after every meal, and with every conversation. Moroccans take great pride in their tea and will often ask a visitor who among their group of friends makes the best cup of mint tea, and a minimum of two to three cups needs to be drunk so as not to offend the host.[1] Moroccan mint tea is a favorite among many people outside of Morocco, too, because of its smooth and sweet taste. It’s served very sweet and made the old-fashioned way with gunpowder green tea.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) loose Chinese gunpowder tea
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) boiling water, divided
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp (45 to 60 ml) sugar
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint, about 1 oz (28 g)
 Activating the Tea Leaves
  1. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 01
    Boil 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Fill a tea kettle or small saucepan with 1 cup of water, and bring it to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat.[2]

    • You can prepare the full amount of water during this step, but you’ll only use 1 cup (240 ml) when activating the tea leaves. The rest of the water may need to be reheated before use.
    • Note that the water should be between 158°F and 176°F (70°c and 80°c).
  2. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 02
    Warm the teapot. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of boiled water into the clean teapot. Swirl the water around slightly to rinse and warm the pot.[3]

    • If possible, try to use a Moroccan teapot. Moroccan teapots vary in size, but a small pot typically holds about a half liter (six glasses) of tea, while a larger pot holds approximately a liter (12 glasses); you can also use an ordinary teapot if you don’t have a Moroccan one. Flameproof teapots are ideal when available.
  3. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 03
    Add the loose gunpowder tea. Place the tea leaves in the tea pot. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of loose gunpowder tea for every 6 oz (177ml) of hot water. If following the quantities noted in this recipe, add the full amount of leaves.

    • Chinese gunpowder tea is the most conventional, but if you are unable to find this tea, you could prepare a similar version of this drink using other loose green tea leaves or green tea bags. Use at least 2 tea bags for every 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of loose tea if choosing this option.[4]
  4. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 04
    Pour in the remaining 3/4 cup (200 ml) of water. Add boiling water to the tea pot, directly over the tea leaves currently in the pot. Swirl the pot gently to warm, rinse, and activate the tea leaves.[5]
  5. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 05
    Steep briefly. Allow the tea to steep in the hot water for about 30 seconds.[6] For a stronger flavor, you might consider letting it steep for as long as 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 06
    Strain the water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the tea leaves, then carefull strain the water out through the spout of the tea pot, keeping the leaves in the pot.

    • The drained liquid is not Moroccan tea. This initial portion of water only rinses the leaves.
    • Some tea pots have strainers in them; others do not. If your pot does not have its own strainer, make sure that you pour the contents through a separate strainer to collect the leaves and return them to the pot.

Steeping the Tea

  1. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 07
    Add the next ingredients to the teapot. This includes mint leaves and the sugar. Add them directly to the wet tea leaves in the pot.

    • Try to find a Middle Eastern grocery store. Moroccan mint has a different taste than most other mints. If you are unable to find Moroccan mint, use any spearmint or peppermint.
    • Cane sugar is best. Dextrose will also work if you don’t wish to use cane sugar, but you’ll need to double the quantities of sugar to ensure sweetness.
  2. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 08
    Fill the pot with the remaining water. If you boiled the water previously and it still feels hot enough, you can add it immediately. If not, boil the remaining 4 cups (1 L) before adding it to the pot.

    • Leave the tea to steep for about 5 minutes.[7]
    • If you have a Moroccan teapot or a heatproof teapot, rather than steeping, set the teapot over low heat and bring the tea to a low simmer. Then, immediately remove from the heat, and allow to steep several minutes more.
  3. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 09
    Pour one glass of tea. Pour it back into the teapot. Do this three or more times. This helps dissolve the sugar.[8]
  4. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 10
    Pour the tea from a high distance. Doing this will help to create a thin layer of foam on the top. When pouring, make sure the tea pellets stay with the tea inside the pot. Only fill the cup two-thirds full; this enables the aroma to develop fully.
  5. Image titled Make Moroccan Tea Step 11
    Enjoy! After pouring the remaining tea, garnish the tea with extra mint (if available). This is an optional step but makes it look fantastic, especially if you have proper Moroccan glasses.[9]

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