Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Morocco is not only world-renowned for the Sahara Desert, but it is equally famous across the globe for its mint tea. When in Morocco, you should never miss a chance to taste it. Known by different names such as Touareg tea, Maghrebi mint tea, Moroccan tea, Atay, and Moroccan Whiskey, this traditional drink is unique and leaves you with a scintillating aftertaste. This tea is served to the guests as a gesture of hospitality. This mint tea is usually offered in small glasses, and the way it is poured into the glasses is also pretty amazing to look at. However, for the guests, there are also some etiquettes of drinking the Moroccan Whiskey, which conveys a message of courtesy to the hosts.
In the sections below, we will discuss its history and the expected etiquette to drink the Atay. We will also help you make a cup of Moroccan mint tea for yourself without visiting the country. Without further delay, let us proceed to understand it better.
The Chronicles Of Moroccan Mint Tea
According to legends, the mint tea became famous in Morocco because it is believed to be the Prophet's chosen drink. There are several theories on how tea came to be in the land of the Sahara Desert. As per one hypothesis, it is believed that tea was first introduced in Morocco by the Phoenicians in the 12th century BC. Another speculation propagates that the Berbers, who were thought to be the first settlers, brought the plant with them when they moved there from Asia. Yet another hypothesis states that it was during Portugal and Spain's conquering attempts in the 18th century that the tea was brought to Morocco. Again, some believe that tea was introduced by the British merchants who started selling their stock of tea in Morocco. It resulted from the Crimean War in 1854 when they were stuck and could not transport their goods to the Baltic region. The Moroccans loved the tea and subsequently laid a base for a new market.
Tea has been around for a long time in the country. For the Moroccans, this tea is an ancestral drink, a symbol of hospitality and tradition. Touareg tea is an integral part of the ceremonies, social gatherings, and even business exchanges. The family's male head usually prepares this tea as they consider it to be a sacred beverage.
In contemporary times, Morocco is also one of the world's largest tea importers, standing at number 11 among all the countries.
Etiquettes To Follow While Drinking Moroccan Mint Tea
By now, you might have realized that mint tea is a hospitality gesture for the Moroccans. They believe in serving this tea generously to their visitors. However, this drink is not meant to be drunk just like a regular cup of tea, and it would be appreciated if you followed some etiquettes while drinking the Moroccan mint tea.
The etiquettes are :
● If you ever plan to visit the country, the tea will be served to you thrice, and each of the three rounds has a different meaning. The Moroccans believe the first round is gentle as life, the second is strong as love, and the last is as bitter as death.
● You are expected to drink all three rounds as a sign of respect.
● Sipping loudly while drinking the tea is considered a sign of appreciation towards the ones offering you the Atay.
● If you are offered the mint, it would be best to accept it at once, as it is considered impolite to refuse it. It will be polite to receive everything your hosts offer as a courtesy.
● When you plan to visit the Moroccan market, which is popularly known as souks, you also have to abide by certain etiquette. It would be best to accept the vendors' mint tea only if you are thinking of buying something from them.
Method To Brew A Cup Of Moroccan Mint Tea
The original Touareg tea is made with mint and Chinese gunpowder tea, a type of green tea. Every region and family have their way of brewing a cup of Moroccan mint tea, but the method we will elaborate in the section below is a primary way of preparing it. Without much delay, let us browse through the process.
You will require the ingredients and items mentioned below to brew a cup of Moroccan mint tea-like drink at your home.
1. Green Tea
Step 1: Put two teaspoons of tea leaves in the teapot.
Step 2: Pour some boiling water into the pot.
Step 3: Let it sit for around 30 seconds.
Step 4: Now, drain the water out of the teapot.
Step 5: As the tea leaves are wet now, you can pour half a litre of boiling water into the teapot.
Step 6: Allow the tea to brew for a minute or two.
Step 7: Now, you need to pour the tea in a glass or a teacup and leave it aside.
Step 8: Take a handful of mint leaves and put it inside the teapot firmly.
Step 9: Add sugar as per your requirement. It would taste better if you added more of it than you usually take.
Step 10: Now, put the teapot on top of the gas stove and wait for the water to boil.
Step 11: Pour the tea you had kept aside into the teapot when the boiling water is about to overflow.
Step 12: Take the tea off the fire and allow it to cool down.
Step 13: Now, pour some tea from a height into your teacup.
Although the history of tea in Morocco is not specific, it has successfully taken its variety of mint tea worldwide. It has gained immense popularity giving recognition to Moroccan culture and traditions. We hope we have painted a clear picture of almost everything you needed to know about the Moroccan mint tea. We are also hopeful that you would love the Moroccan Mint tea mentioned in the recipe above.