Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thé de Mente

Moroccan tea (atay in Moroccan Arabic), sometimes referred to as “Berber whiskey”, is always deeply infused with nanna’ (mint), the fragrance of which is one of the essential elements of the Moroccan culinary experience. A ritualized ceremony has evolved around the offering and drinking of the tea—a ceremony which bears all the hallmarks of the Arabic tradition of hospitality.

The preparation of the brew involves four staples: Chinese green tea, fresh mint, boiling water and plenty of sugar. Traditionally it’s served in elegant metal Moroccan teapots and poured from an impressive height into small crystal glasses. The first glass from a new pot is generally poured back into the pot to assist brewing.

You will need:
1 Tbs. of Chinese green tea
A generous handful of fresh mint, more leaves than stem
25-30 g. of sugar or adjust to taste

Put all the ingredients into a teapot that has been rinsed with boiling water. Cover ingredients with boiling water and allow to brew 3-5 minutes. Stir once or twice only, then pour one glass of liquid into glass. Return this glassful to the pot. Now pour glasses of tea and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if required. Try to pour the tea into the glass from as high a point as possible as this will ‘aerate’ the tea and allow the delicious aroma to permeate the entire room.

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