Learn how to make Moroccan mint tea, one of the nations most popular beverages made with fresh mint, gunpowder tea and sugar.
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What is Moroccan tea made of?
The beauty of making tea from scratch in this method is that you know exactly what goes into your cup of tea. This traditional recipe comes down to 3 ingredients or 2 if you’re using the sugar free version my dad made himself for breakfast every morning.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a pot of Moroccan mint tea:
- A generous bundle of fresh mint leaves
- Gunpowder tea
- Sugar or sugar cubes (optional)
Gunpowder is a type of Chinese green tea that is a bit more concentrated in caffeine and resembles small rolled up leaves.
Aside from that, all you’ll need is the water from your sink and a tea kettle to heat things up.
How to make it
While it may seem intimidating to make tea without buying a box of teabags, I can assure you that making Moroccan mint tea is a super simple process.
There are a few steps, but they mostly consist of pouring water into a glass and then pouring that glass back into the teapot. I promise we can do this!
Start with a stovetop safe teapot. In your pot, add some gunpowder tea pellets. Next, heat your water in a tea kettle until hot and boiling.
Pour about a half a cup of this hot water over the gunpowder tea, cover and let sit for a few minutes. Pour the water out of the teapot and into a small glass, set aside (this is our spirit - it has all the flavor!).
Pour an additional cup of the hot water over the gunpowder tea, covering and letting it steep for another 2-3 minutes. Pour this water into another cup and discard.
Finally, add the sugar, mint leaves, and first glass to the bottom of the teapot over the gunpowder leaves. Fill the teapot to the top with hot water, cover and steep for 5-10 minutes.
If your teapot doesn’t have a built in strainer for the gunpowder tea, strain it before pouring into a glass. Then, pour this glass back into the teapot. Repeat this process a few times to mix the tea with the caramelized sugar.
Strain, serve and enjoy!
Drinking mint tea for Moroccans
In Morocco, tea is much more than a drink. This mint tea specifically is one that brings people together socially.
My father made this tea every single morning until his last, as a way to welcome the day.
I’m sure that this recipe means something slightly different to every Moroccan you ask. For my family it came after trips to the beach, paired with freshly fried donuts (sfenj). Other times it meant welcoming in family from out of town or friends from another neighborhood. When there were guests, there was always mint tea.
My grandmother and aunt usually had a tray of Moroccan pastries and cookies to go with the tea when we arrived from a long trip. In the mornings the tea was served again but instead alongside coffee, Moroccan pancakes, honey and dried meat.
We drank tea even on the hottest of summer days. Piping hot, with lots of fresh mint and sugar.
When my dad came to the US he developed his own new traditions with mint tea. He wasn’t crazy about adding sugar to anything, so he quickly left that ingredient out of his own recipe. Aside from that, his recipe was pretty much the same as the one my grandmother made for us on our visits all of those summers during my childhood and adolescence.
This recipe, along with most of my recipes are a tribute to my dad and how he always took the time to enjoy life. Every morning started with a cup of tea and a smile on his face.
Small & large bites to go with your tea
Here are some of my favorite Moroccan recipes to enjoy with this tea:
I also love serving this with a bowl or plate of these homemade sugar cubes, as an option for those who like their tea on the sweeter side.