Hospitality Ritual Extraordinaire: Moroccan Mint
Even if you haven’t traveled the world, you likely know about the storied place mint tea holds in Moroccan culture. Just the name Moroccan Mint brings to mind the labyrinthine markets and smoky bazaars of Marrakesh, the sand-swept deserts and the jade oases of the countryside. Is there any sight more marked of hospitality than the standard mint tea pour, starting at the base of the cup and rising to head level in one continuous, unbroken steaming stream, spilling nary a drop?
In fact, no combination of place, beverage and welcome have formed quite the famous triplet as Morocco, mint tea and the tea ceremony that takes place on special occasions. It used to take place more frequently, but is now reserved for honored guests or specific days. It goes like this:
The host will sit in front of a tray on which there are two teapots and ornate teacups. On the table are the ingredients: boiling water, green tea, mint leaves, and sugar (which is typically added to this drink, though it is also quite good without any sweetening agent at all). The ritual begins with the host rinsing the teapots with boiling water, to warm them up, reminiscent of the teapot rinsing which takes place in standard tea preparation, to make sure water does not cool when it touches them and lessen the effect of the perking tea.
Green tea leaves are added to each pot and are rinsed with the boiling water, to get rid of the initial 'bite'. Sugar is then added to each pot, and then they are filled with boiling water. The mixture of green tea and sugar is left to steep for several minutes, after which it is stirred and poured into the teacups. When pouring this mixture, the host will pour from both teapots simultaneously from considerable height, and will only fill the teacups halfway. Naturally there is never a drop that misses its mark, though we do not recommend trying this with your guests without practicing first!
The guest can then enjoy this first cup of green tea while the host continues the ritual by adding more green tea lives and sugar to both teapots, and refilling them with boiling water. The initial water leftover in the teapots is not discarded. At this time, handfuls of fresh mint leaves are added to each pot, and the spicy aroma of sweet mint permeates the air. When the first cup of green tea is finished, this second cup, infused with additional sugar and fresh mint leaves, is enjoyed. It is this second steeping that is famous around the world and that sings so highly of desert hospitality.
Luckily for you, there is no need to travel to Morocco to bring the fantastic tastes of this traditional ritual to your table. All you need is this fabulous blend of Chinese Gunpowder green tea and aromatic mint from our Canada tea company, plus a little practice, and you can perform the ritual right there are home to impress your own special friends and family.