New Jersey- I have always loved Moroccan min tea. I remember when my grandmother used to visit, she would make Earl Grey tea, and our house would smell like it all morning. The scent was so deep and dark that I desperately wanted to try it for myself.
New Jersey– I have always loved Moroccan min tea. I remember when my grandmother used to visit, she would make Earl Grey tea, and our house would smell like it all morning. The scent was so deep and dark that I desperately wanted to try it for myself.
One day, my grandmother let me have a sip of her just-brewed tea. Excitedly, I held the mug to my lips, blew over to cool it down, and took a huge gulp. The hot bitterness was instantaneous, and I twisted my face in disgust.
“Silly girl,” my grandmother said, “you didn’t wait until I put the sugar in!” I returned the tea to her, and she dropped three heaping teaspoons of sugar into the tiny mug.
“Try now,” she offered. This time, I cautiously took a tiny sip. The sugar did wonders. Although I burned my tongue in the process, I happily slurped up a few more sips of tea and remembered to leave some for my grandmother. Sugar makes tea so much better, I thought.
That’s why I was so excited for my first trip to Morocco. Growing up, I did not learn much about the Maghreb, but I did know that Morocco was famous for it’s sweet, sweet Moroccan mint tea. I had read that mint was bountiful in the region, and there were traditional ways of serving and pouring. But despite everything I had heard, nothing could have prepared me for the deliciousness that is Moroccan mint tea.
My first visit to Morocco came in the summer. Due to the heat and humidity, I didn’t expect to drink much tea at all. To my surprise, the weather had absolutely no bearing on how much I drank. Indeed, I happily downed many cups of scalding Morocco mint tea with my classmates on a trip to Erfoud in southern Morocco.
The idea is that drinking something near boiling will make your body not feel as hot in the unbearable temperatures—or so I was told. Regardless, I’m pretty sure that during that summer, I drank more (and sweeter) tea than I ever had in my entire life.
I will always remember the first time my Moroccan roommate made Moroccan mint tea for me. I was absolutely baffled by the amount of sugar she put in. One, two, three, four, five cubes in a tiny pot! A fistful of mint sprigs was stuffed in as well. Washing the tea, boiling the water, letting everything simmer on the stove—it was all magic to me.
She produced two delicate glasses, into which she poured the sweet mixture. I thought for sure she would splash and burn herself as she raised the teapot above her head, but as an experienced tea-pourer, she did not. Although she emphasized that it was by far not her best pot of tea, I enjoyed every last sweet, sticky drop.
Now back in America, I have strong cravings for Moroccan mint tea from time to time. Because I do not always have fresh mint, I usually feed this craving by going to a small café right down the road that makes coffee and tea from around the world. It’s definitely not the same as the authentic experience, but it does do the job of curing the craving and a bit of nostalgia.
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