Also known as Maghrebi mint tea, is a green tea prepared with peppermint leaves, 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. As a combination of imported ingredients (tea from China) and a local ingredient (fresh mint), it is an early example of globalization in cuisine.

Mint tea is central to social life in Maghreb countries. The serving of the Maghrebi mint tea can take a ceremonial form, especially when prepared for a guest. Traditionally in the Maghreb, whereas cooking is women's business, the tea is a male affair, especially as a drink of hospitality: the head of the family prepares it and serves the guest usually at least three glasses, and it is impolite to refuse it. It is served not only at mealtimes but all through the day, and is also widely consumed socially, with tea bars filling a similar social function to alcoholic drinking establishments. The beverage has a refreshing aroma, and its consumption produces a sensation of cold in the mouth and respiratory tract.

In the 1850s during the Crimean War, a British merchant, unable to sell his wares of Chinese gunpowder green tea (the leaves rolled into small pellets to retain flavor during shipping) in the Baltic region, stumbled upon Morocco as an alternate destination. Moroccans, to put it mildly, fell in love with the flavorful leaves, especially in conjunction with mint. The main provider of tea to the Maghreb remains China.

Preparation takes green tea, fresh mint leaves in large quantity, sugar and boiling water. Note that boiling water is used, unlike in East Asia, where cooler water is used to avoid bitterness, and the pot is left to continue brewing, changing the flavor from one glass to the next. Tea is poured into glasses from height in order to swirl loose tea leaves to the bottom of the glass, whilst gently aerating the tea to improve its flavor. Traditionally the tea is served three times, and the amount of time the tea has been steeping gives each of the three glasses a unique flavor, described in this famous Maghrebi proverb:
                           The first glass is as gentle as life,
                            the second glass is as strong as love
                            the third glass is as bitter as death.
This exciting and refreshingly robust blend of Chinese gunpowder green tea and organic peppermint mingle together with every refined and pleasing sip. This crisp, cooling brew can be enjoyed either warm or iced.


Mint is something of a wonder herb. Not only is it superb at cooling down the body (menthol, a chemical in mint, binds with our body’s cold-sensitive receptors to trick our brain into actually feeling a cold sensation) and raising its defenses against the heat, these green sprigs also act as a powerful antioxidant, soothe an upset stomach, relieve heartburn, boost mental performance, promote focus, loosen congestion, break up coughs, chase away bad breath, inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus, help with nasal allergies, cleanse the blood and clear up skin disorders such as acne. Add in all the already-established benefits of green tea, and you have a potent blend that’s not only unusually cooling, but also packed with health and beauty benefits.

Moroccan Mint Tea
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