Abdul agreed to teach me how to make real deal Moroccan Mint tea. I mean, I can boil water – I can do this – right?
Everywhere we went we were offered this Moroccan ‘whisky’ – but nowhere was it better than at Riad Fez Yamanda, when made by Abdul. Hot, sweet, refreshingly minty with the lingering astringency of tea. Perfect.
Abdul’s passion is art, but his calling is tea. He’s a tea whisperer – and this is how he makes it all happen.
First you boil some water. (You saw that coming – right?)
While water is coming to a boil, get out some lovely little heat proof glasses. Some folks jam them full of fresh, gorgeous, mint – others pile the mint into the tea pot. Abdul was all about the pot.
Place a few scoops of loose Chinese gunpowder green tea in the bottom of the tea pot.
Pour a scant amount of boiling water over the tea. Swirl. Then carefully pour water out, ensuring the leaves remain.
“This is to remove bitterness, and to clean the tea.” (Abdul is a man of few words, this is just about the only thing he said during my tea tutorial.)
Clean tea. Huh. OK.
Add several generous teaspoons of sugar to the pot. Several. Be generous. (Don’t worry about it!)
Fill the teapot with the just boiled water. Place the teapot back on the stove on medium and allow to come back to the boil to ensure the tea is steeped and the sugar is all dissolved.
Cram that pot fill of Moroccan mint (spearmint is the closest I think we have here in North America) and allow to sit for a few minutes.
Now. Now the tea must be aerated.
Pour – into glasses from waaaaaaay up high, with fanfare (think Jamie Oliver seasoning a piece of meat from up on high –he must have learned those mad skills from Abdul).
Pour tea back into pot.
Repeat. Several times.
Tea is perfect when there are some bubbles and a slight froth on the surface.
Divide between glasses – of course pouring from waaaaaaaay up high.
Sip and become calm, cool and instantly refreshed.
Thanks Abdul. Can I have some right now? Brought to me on that silver platter, poured into those exquisite little glasses with fanfare and served with those amazing sesame and spice cookies that Fatima made us each day? Pretty please?
Insha’Alllah. (God willing!)