Maghrebi mint tea was introduced to Morocco in the 1850s during the Crimean War when a British merchant, unable to sell his wares of gunpowder tea in the Baltic region, stumbled upon Morocco as an alternate destination. The main supplier of tea to the Maghreb remains China. Maghrebi mint tea (Atay), also known as Moroccan, Tuareg, Algerian, Tunisian, or Libyan mint tea, is a green tea prepared with spearmint leaves and sugar, traditional to the Greater Maghreb region (the Northwest African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania). It has since spread throughout North Africa, parts of the Sahel, and throughout the Arab world. It is most closely associated with Morocco, and in Spanish is known simply as "Moroccan tea", té moruno. A similar drink in prepared in Spain and southern France, but is typically served chilled as iced tea in the summer, instead of hot year-round. As a combination of imported ingredients (tea from China and originally imported sugar) and a local ingredient (fresh mint), it is an early example of globalization in cuisine.
Type of Dish beverage
- 8 g green tea (Chinese gun powder)
- 10 g mint
- 2 g lemon balm
- 2 g marjoram
- 15 g sugar
- 650 ml boiling water
- Put the tea in a pot and add 150 ml of boiling water. leave to steal for 3 minutes. pour the tea into a cup and reserve. this is the seed of the tea
- Add 100ml of boiling water to the pot swirl it around for 2 minutes and discard the water. this is to clean the leaves. this step is to insure for a clear rather than cloudy final result.
- Return the seed to the pot and add sugar, all the herbs and enough boiling water to cover.
- Place the pot over the flame and cook until it starts to simmer.
- Remove from flame and leave to steal for 5 minutes.
- Pour tea into small tea glasses from a height to create air bubbles and serve.
- Other herbs to use...zaitla (wild oregano), salmia (sage) Atarsha (geranium leaf), flio (wild basil)... if you use these then only use small quantities as they are a bit strong and can dominate. whatever mix of herbs you use make sure that 80% is standard mint (spearmint or peppermint). in Morocco there are many kinds of mint, I like to use Borr, mlakam, larbi, labdi, brosh, timija
Preparation Time is approxmiately 10 minutes.
Cooking Time is approxmiately 10 minutes.