Posts Tagged ‘Moroccan Mint tea’

Moroccan Mint Tea Traditions, The Secret Ingredients, Tips & Recipe

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Morocco’s tradition of tea dates back to the 12th century BC. There are various theories on the origin of tea in the Maghreb. Some say the Berbers (Amazigh) imported tea from Asia, while others believe that Queen Anne Stuart of Great Britain introduced tea to the Moroccan Sultan as a ploy to release British prisoners.

Moroccan mint tea, referred to as “Berber Whiskey” or Maghrebi Mint Tea is one of the pillars of Moroccan culture. In Morocco tea is sipped all hours of the day. When Moroccans welcome guests to their homes they sip tea, when they celebrate a birth or wedding ceremony or death, they sip tea and when they share meals together they sip tea. Tea is sipped slowly 20 or even 30 times a day in Morocco! When a glass of tea is offered, it is a cultural taboo to refuse. Declining an offer of Moroccan tea  is considered impolite given many consider it part of a bonding experience. While there are many stories of tea told throughout Morocco, one shared consensus is, the ritual of Moroccan tea is an art.

“Tea in Morocco, is not just about boiling the water and adding mint, it is ceremonial art, a ritual for us, similar to the Chinese and Japanese” says Saoud, teacher and host of La Maison Arabe’s tea ceremony. Souad leads a tea ceremony that is part of La Maison Arabe’s daily cooking classes offered.

Tucked away into a well-manicured alley with palm trees, out of sight from the bustling Marrakech medina, sits the exquisitely designed boutique hotel. La Maison Arabe. All La Maison Arabe cooking classes are led by a Dada Chef and a host offers first hand insights about Moroccan Tea traditions. Each class includes a traditional tea ceremony.

Moroccan tea has medicinal and beauty benefits. Herbal teas are made from Morocco’s diverse kingdom of organic plants. There are more than 4,200 species which have been identified as endemic and 400 are classified as products for medicinal or aromatic use.

Moroccan tea traditions are passed from generation to generation. The ritual of Moroccan tea can be observed in a private home, by participating in a cooking class or in the souks.   If you ask a Moroccan about memories of their childhood, they will often share an image of their mother in the kitchen, blending together an herbal mint tea to ward off a cold or improve a family member’s digestion.

There are 3 principal ingredients in nearly every cup of Moroccan tea. They are Gun Powder, Beetroot Sugar and Spearmint. 

#1: Gunpower:Considering how frequently Moroccan mint tea is consumed, many people are surprised to learn that tea is not grown in Morocco. Tea used by Moroccans is imported from China. The base of Moroccan mint tea is gunpowder, which closely resembles actual gunpowder and looks similar to rolled up pellets. While gunpowder is the equivalent to green tea, it tastes significantly stronger than the type of green tea most people are familiar with. When blended with Moroccan herbs or fresh mint, gunpowder’s bold and smoky taste lends a unique flavor to the tea itself.

#2: Beetroot:Another important ingredient in Moroccan tea is sugar, however, not just any sugar. Moroccan’s use a few wedges of healthy Beetroot sugar to enhance the flavor of their tea. Beetroot sugar is grown in Morocco, comes from the beetroot vegetable which is packed with minerals and vitamins. Sipping tea in Morocco without Beetroot or Cane sugar is rare. However, as the result of foreign influence and diabetes more Moroccans are drinking tea today with less or no additional sugar. Moroccan tea without sugar tends to be more pungent and stronger in taste. The combination of gunpowder and mint without sugar cause the tea to take on a bitter flavor.

#3: Spearmint:There are several different kinds of mint grown in Morocco, however, the consistent choice is spearmint. Spearmint has a clear, pungent, and mild aroma, making it the traditional choice used in Moroccan mint tea culture.

Medicinal Benefits of Moroccan Tea:There are many types teas that are consumed in Morocco. Traditional Moroccan Mint Tea typically sipped with no other ingredients. However, those who prefer to use tea for health benefits in Morocco often infuse their tea with aromatic plants and herbs. Some of the aromatic plants and herbs added to Moroccan mint tea are dried flowers, such as rose petals along with lemon peel, orange peel and orange blossom water.

 Moroccan Mint Tea – Secret Ingredients – Herbs & Spices Used in Moroccan Tea:Moroccan Mint Tea – Secret Ingredients – Herbs & Spices Used in Moroccan Tea:
  • Peppermint –  slightly different properties than spearmint, the most relied on mint; it aids digestion.
  • Bergamot  – relaxing and aromatic.
  • Lemon balm – an anti-anxiety and aids in sleep
  • Absinth – perfect for winter, supports the gallbladder, and the pancreas
  • Sage – assists in digestion and boosts memory
  • Saffron – warms the body and regulates hormones
  • Tea with orange blossom – aromatic and used on special occasions
  • Lemon Verbena – relaxing and fresh sensation.
  • Thyme – helps clear unhealthy bacteria, repair gut lining and decrease inflammation
  • Geranium – flowery taste in the mint tea and is relaxing

Moroccan mint tea contributes to good health. People who live in deserts or oasis’ like Morocco, drink hot tea year-round including summertime! Consuming hot beverages cools the body down and the combination of  also Moroccan tea has many powerful ingredients like antioxidants, properties to boost endurance, aid in digestion, increase mental performance, inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus, and even clear up skin disorders. The antioxidants in Moroccan tea help boost endurance, protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

How to Make Moroccan Tea:
• Place two teaspoons of gunpowder green tea into a traditional Moroccan tea pot.
• Next add a handful of fresh mint tea
• Add your choice of herbs and a little bit of beetroot sugar (up to 4 chunks)
•Pour boiling water and sugar and let it simmer for few minutes.
• Then pour out the water and reserve the liquid in a glass.
•Add a little boiling water to swish in the teapot again. This second rinse will take away the bitterness and the color of the tea will get darker than before.
• Discard the second glass, only the first extraction of tea will be used.
• To mix all the ingredients together, just pour the tea into a glass and return it to the tea pot. It is important to never stir the mixture with a spoon or the herbs may burn. Repeat this process two or three times for best results.
• Serving Moroccan Tea.When serving Moroccan tea, it is important to use a Moroccan tea port and hold the handle from high above as this will help oxygenate the tea and keep the tea foam on the top of the glass. The pouring of the tea from a teapot with a long-curved spout is done from a height of at least twelve inches, causing foam to form on the surface of the tea.

For more information about the Secret Traditions of Moroccan Tea & Food Traditions in Morocco


Moroccan Mint Tea, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Saturday, February 7th, 2015
Tea Ceremony Morocco

Tea Ceremony Morocco

It is impossible to be in Morocco for long before you are offered a cup of frothy, steaming mint tea. A key part of the legendary Moroccan hospitality, hot sweet tea is used to welcome a guest, to revive a flagging spirit, to facilitate social interaction and to oil a business transaction. In a predominantly Muslim country where many people do not drink alcohol, tea is used for almost every social situation.

The tea leaves used in Moroccan tea are typically Chinese green gunpowder tea. A Tea Museum is planned in collaboration with the Chinese Government for Essaouira to celebrate this long-standing link. A preview of the new museum is on exhibition in the city’s Musée Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah until mid-July 2015. The exhibition offers an opportunity to learn about the long-standing tradition of mint tea in Morocco and the role of Essaouira in its popularity.

The decision of Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah (Sultan Mohammed III) to make Essaouira (then Mogador) Morocco’s principal port was instrumental in the propagation of Moroccan tea culture. The Sultan wanted to open Morocco to international trade to profit from the opportunity to export Africa’s wealth and modernise through the influence of the West. To achieve this, he commissioned a French architect to build the Kasbah (King’s Quarters – the basis of the medina we see today) and invited 10 key Jewish merchant families to manage the trade through a newly foritfied port.

Soon goods were flowing from the camel trains onto vessels and across the oceans. Essaouira became the port for Timbuktu, also a key Jewish enclave at the time. During the 19th century, Mogador was receiving an influx of consulates, negociants, merchants, Jewish families and the rural poor, all seeking to make their fortune. The merchant navies of the European colonial powers called in at Essaouira on their way to and from the ports of England, Holland and France. The goods exported included hides, olive oil, sugar and slaves.

Moroccan Mint

Moroccan Mint

The import of tea through Mogador and the subsequent development of a significant element of Moroccan contemporary culture is allegedly a result of equal parts happenstance, geopolitics and economic opportunism. British ships were unable to deliver tea to the Baltic ports in 1854 due to the Crimean War. The decision was taken to offload this cargo in Mogador and Tangiers, thereby providing access to a product which hitherto had only been offered as a gift between British royalty and their Moroccan counterparts. Moroccans were already using local herbs with medicinal and culinary qualities in infusions. With the addition of green tea, with its inherent caffeine, a new added benefit was achieved!

Originally from Al Andalus, the Corcos family became influential merchants and dominated the tea trade into Mogador. Solomon Ben Abraham Corcos was son of Maimon, one of the original 10 ‘Sultan’s merchants.’ Solomon became British consul in Mogador in 1822 and was said to be very influential in British politics. This connection with the UK – particularly among Mogador Jews and their Manchester kin – not only brought the tea into Morocco but also the silver and stainless steel teapots and accessories used to serve it. Today, of course, thanks to another shift in the global economy, the tea comes from China, as do the teapots!

A traditional Moroccan tea ceremony is as elaborate as any in Asia. It requires a kettle on a brazier, the trinity of teapot, tea caddy and sugar pot and a certain degree of flourish! Sugar cubes are common today, but many still use sugar cones in rural areas and they are still offered as wedding gifts. Tea is traditionally prepared by the man of the house in front of his guests, first by rinsing the tea once or twice in boiled water to remove the bitterness. Once the pot is rinsed and it is refilled with hot water to about 3/4 full. The pot is placed on the heat to allow the tea to brew. When the leaves rise to the surface before the water boils completely, the pot is removed from the heat. Now, the sugar along with the mint. The flavour develops through the dramatic high-pouring of the tea into small, often ornate, glasses and pouring it back into the pot. This mixes the sugar through the tea without stirring. The best tasting tea has a crown (raza) of froth on top.

Depending on the season and the occasion, many other fresh herbs are infused into tea in Morocco. In winter, absinthe (shiba) is believed to heat the body. Herbs such as thyme (zaaytra), oregano (zatar) or rosemary (azir) are believed to aid digestion. Other popular additions are lemon verbena (louiza) or sage (salmia).

Although it may have foreign origins, the sharing of tea is a quintessential element of Moroccan culture. Be sure on your trip to Morocco to take the time to share a glass or two of atay b’nana (mint tea) with the locals.

Written by Lynn Sheppard 

Lynn Sheppard has lived in Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast for more than 2 years, supporting local non-profits, writing and becoming an expert on all things Swiri (ie. Essaouiran). She blogs at and for other travel industry clients.

For more information Moroccan Mint Tea or Tea in the Sahara

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco Traditional Food, The World of Moroccan Cuisine, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan cuisine is the culinary star of North Africa. Imperial and trade influence has been filtered and blended into Morocco’s culture. Being at the crossroads of many civilizations, the cuisine of Morocco is a mélange of Arab, Berber, Moorish, French, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean African, Iberian, and Jewish influences.

Moroccan cooking is enhanced with fruits, dried and fresh — apricots, dates, figs, and raisins, to name a few. Lemons preserved in a salt-lemon juice mixture bring a unique face to many Moroccan chicken and pigeon dishes. Nuts are prominent; pine nuts, almonds, and pistachios show up in all sorts of unexpected places.

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan Mint Tea

Moroccan sweets are rich and dense confections of cinnamon, almond, and fruit perfumes that are rolled in filo dough, soaked in honey, and stirred into puddings. The cooks in the royal kitchens of Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tetouan refined Moroccan cuisine over the centuries and created the basis for what is known as Moroccan cuisine today. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food.

While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Taliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fes, are home-grown. Common spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin), kharkoum (turmeric), skingbir (ginger), libzar (pepper) , tahmira (paprika), anis seed, sesame seed, kasbour (coriander), maadnous (parsley), zaafrane beldi (saffron) and mint.

Moroccan Food

Moroccan Food

Traditional Food in Morocco is eaten at breakfast, lunh and dinner as well as on high holy holidays such as Ramadan and Eid El Kebir. The various types of Moroccan traditional cuisine include the Moroccan tajine and Moroccan couscous. Moroccans also have a penchant for fruit juice, Arabic coffee and mint tea along with their accompaniment of dates, nuts, deserts and pastries.

When taking a Moroccan holiday, make sure to expand your pallet by allowing yourself to enjoy a true a taste of Moroccan cuisine.

For more information about Morocco Traditional Food or A Taste of Morocco Tour

For more information about Travel and Tours to Morocco plus highlights on Moroccan culture visit Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara DesertBerber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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Tea In The Sahara – Morocco’s Berber Mint Whisky

Monday, February 2nd, 2009


Imagine you are wandering the maze-like souks of Marrakech.  Merchants are calling to you to take a look at their ware: sapphire-blue water jugs, intricate carpets of every color, multi-colored baboosh, or slippers, sparkling silver jewelry, sweet pastries dripping with honey, the sights, sounds, and smells of Marrakech.  As you make your way through the crowded market you spy a vendor selling traditional Moroccan mint tea, thirsty from your trek through the hot and dusty souk, you decide to sit down and sample this most famous beverage of Morocco.

Morocco is famous not only for its tea but also for the way it is prepared.  El Mehdi Miman, a 19 year old from Settat, Morocco, explains that there is a process to the tea making that must be followed if you want to taste true Moroccan tea.
“The preparation of the tea is a whole art and it is also the art of patience,” Mehdi explains, “True tea specialists never prepare it in a few minutes but rather quietly while talking with friends”.
Although the process is long it must be worth it because Moroccans have been drinking tea this way since it was first introduced in Morocco in the 18th century.  Why does Mehdi consider tea making an art?  He says “despite the wait when the tea finally arrives in our glass it is always hot!”

Mehdi says that there are many ways to make Moroccan tea but he was kind enough to share the way he was taught to make his favorite kind of tea, sweet mint tea!

First: Pour boiling water into the tea pot, swish it around, and then pour it away
Next: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves to the tea pot, add some water, allow to sit for a minute and then throw that water away (this is to remove the bitterness from the tea, Mehdi says)
Then: Add boiling water back to the tea pot; add fresh mint leaves and sugar cubes.  Push the mint leaves to the bottom of the glass and allow to steep for two to three minutes so that all of the flavors are released.
Pour into water glasses and enjoy!

Want to really look like a tea-making pro?  According to Mehdi the tea specialists hold the tea pot really high above the glass while pouring.  If you can pull that off not only will you be enjoying delicious Moroccan tea but you’ll look pretty cool doing it.  Just be careful not to burn yourself!


Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Google on call Travel Exploration at (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.