I was lucky enough to spend a week in Morocco over the Christmas holidays. TH and I had an incredible time exploring a completely new culture, and eating a week’s worth of tagines, preserved lemons, cured olives, and rich breads. From wandering through the evening medinas — complete with grilled meats, live music, and costumed performers — to drinking cocktails à la Casablanca in a bar said to inspire the movie, the trip was truly unique. I’ll post a detailed travel guide from our trip shortly, along with some great pictures we snapped along the way, but for a fresh start to January, I wanted to share a glass or two of Moroccan mint tea.
We saw locals sipping on this herbal tea everywhere we went — bars, cafès, even corner stoops; one café owner described the brown liquid as Morocco’s whiskey. We trekked up steep cobblestone streets to sip on it over lunch at a tiny seaside restaurant in Tangier, and watched the sunset over the Marrakech marketplace at a fancy rooftop café. We also managed to bring back a lovely set of gold painted glasses perfect for enjoying the mint-studded tea back at home.
Mint tea may be a wonderful memory of our trip, but this cooling herb also packs plenty of benefits for those of you looking to spruce up in the New Year. Rich in Vitamins A and C, mint also contains a number of minerals, making it a great addition to your morning cuppa. Drinking a pot spiked with mint can stimulate the senses and improve mood, and mint is also known to relieve congestion, head colds and headaches, a much needed remedy this time of year. Moroccan’s enjoy their tea very sweet, with a large handful of mint in each glass. I prefer to cut out some of that sugar, and add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright, minty sip that makes me feel fresh and ready to tackle the day.
Moroccan Mint Tea
1 tablespoon loose leaf green tea
4 cups boiling water
2-4 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 large bunch mint, reserve some mint for garnishing
1. Place the mint, green tea and sugar into a decorative teapot. Pour the boiling water over the mint and brew for 3 to 5 minutes. Place the garnishing mint into the tea cups, pour the tea through a strainer into the cups, and serve. Top with fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste.