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Moroccan Mint Tea Ceremony

Moroccan Mint Tea Ceremony

Authentic Moroccan mint tea recipe is really hard to find. If you made some research on Google, you probably found hundreds of recipes that claim to be authentic and traditional. Unfortunately, most of them are not.

If you’ve never made Moroccan mint tea the Moroccan way, prepare yourself to have a culinary revelation in your kitchen. The steps are easy, the ingredients are simple and you will be amazed at the deliciousness you will be able to create.

To make Moroccan mint tea, you need to use the right tea leaves, a teapot or kettle with a few requirements, all while following a specific technique. It might look complicated but it’s really not.

Moroccan mint tea
Moroccan mint tea is made using a handful of ingredients and a definite technique

In fact, making authentic Moroccan mint tea is neither complicated or expensive. All it takes is 3 ingredients and less than 10 minutes of preparation. Once you make it to your friends, I can assure they will long for your invitations, as your mint tea will taste like being on vacation in Morocco.

Growing up in Morocco, Moroccan mint tea was part of my everyday life as it is for the majority of Moroccans. It’s the symbol of family and friend gatherings and the first thing prepared to welcome guests. The smell of this sweet aromatic tea announces a good moment of chilling, catching up, and connecting.

Moroccan mint tea party
A typical Moroccan gathering where Moroccan mint tea and pastries are served to welcome guests
(picture taken in 1983, Fez, Morocco)
Credits: Bruno Barbey

Traditionally in Morocco, the family head male was the person in charge of making Moroccan mint tea. Now things have changed and women are mostly the ones in charge of making it, at least on non-special occasions.

In fact, during celebrations and in some traditional families, Moroccan mint tea is still men’s specialty. They prepare it with great care following a definite ceremony.

They would bring the equipment and ingredients to the living room and chat with the guests while preparing tea with high finesse. At least three glasses will be served, each one stronger than the previous one as tea continues infusing. A saying in Morocco states that the first glass of Moroccan mint tea is as soft as life, the second as strong as love, and the last as bitter as death.

Moroccan mint tea ceremony & ingredients
Moroccan mint tea ceremony & ingredients

If you already had a mint tea in Morocco or in a traditional Moroccan restaurant, you probably noticed it is poured from a height.

pouring Moroccan mint tea from a hight
The art of pouring Moroccan mint tea

Pouring Moroccan mint tea from a height is an important part of the Moroccan tea ceremony. The higher the tea is poured, the more foam you will get on top of your drink, the closer it will be to the traditional Moroccan mint tea cup.

What is Moroccan Mint Tea Made of?

To make Moroccan mint tea, the ingredients are Gunpowder loose tea, a generous bunch of fresh mint leaves, and sugar. You can also flavor your tea with some aromatics as I will show you to give it a more interesting flavor and some health benefits. Choosing the right kettle or teapot is also primordial to make real Moroccan mint tea.

Authentic Moroccan mint tea is very sweet, but you can adjust sugar quantity to match your taste and diet. Personally, I tend to cut sugar quantity by half, sometimes more, and leave the classic sweet version to special occasions or when I have sweet cravings.

What Teapot to Use for Moroccan Mint Tea?

To make traditional Moroccan mint tea, you will need either a Moroccan teapot or a heat-resistant teapot. The reason is simple: Moroccan mint tea is prepared by active infusion, which means tea leaves infuse in boiling water for many minutes. A regular teapot cannot support the stove’s heat and can break. I learned the hard way and lost some beautiful teapots in the process. So make sure your teapot is heat-resistant.

Moroccan mint tea in beautiiful teapot
Basic Moroccan teapot

If that is not the case, I recommend looking for a good quality stainless steel Moroccan teapot. You can use it to make Moroccan mint tea but also any other teas or infusions. It also makes a great pitcher for serving coffee or wine.

Moroccan teapot silver
Engraved Moroccan teapot

For affordable Moroccan teapots, you can check our baby platform Little Moroccan Things where we feature Morocco-imported artisanal products. We don’t restock often but when we do, we make sure our teapots are qualitative with competitive pricing, ranging from $40 to $80.

What Kind of Tea is Used for Moroccan Mint Tea?

The tea used to make authentic Moroccan mint tea is the Chinese green gunpowder loose tea. It’s what gives mint tea the best results.

As I consume tea quite regularly, I always choose organic gunpowder as many brands use radiated or low-quality leaves.

Chinese green gunpowder loose tea
Chinese green gunpowder loose tea

What Kind of Mint is Used for Moroccan Tea?

The mint used in traditional Moroccan mint tea is Spearmint, also called Nana Mint. This mint variety brings a strong flavor and delicate sweetness. If you can’t find Spearmint in your local store, no worries, you can use other mint varieties and your Moroccan mint tea will still be delicious!

Don’t forget to wash the brunches thoroughly before use. Moroccan people use a generous quantity of mint and sometimes, they have to bend the branches and squeeze them to make them enter the teapot. Be generous with your mint, that’s how you’ll get the strong minty flavor of Moroccan mint tea.

Moroccan mint tea and fresh mint leaves
Moroccan mint tea needs a lot of mint branches. You can even add some branches to your cup to maximize the flavor

I grow Spearmint in my apartment in a small pot, that way I have fresh mint leaves always available. It also decorates and perfumes the kitchen beautifully. If you want to give it a try, these are the seeds I use.

How to Flavor Moroccan Mint Tea?

Moroccans love to flavor their Moroccan mint tea. While the basic Moroccan mint tea is a go-to drink for every day, Moroccans like to add herbs, spices, and aromatics on special occasions or to get some health benefits.

As an example, during the cold season, Moroccans tend to add herbs known for their warming properties, like a variety of Pennyroyal mint and absinthe.

On special occasions like engagement parties and marriages, the most used herbs and spices are rosebuds, verbena, and/or cinnamon. They are known for enhancing the mood, encouraging a more relaxed and joyful gathering.

Moroccan tea mix with gunpowder tea, rosebuds, verbena, and cinnamon, used in Moroccan Berber weddings | Little Moroccan Things.

Essential Picks

LITTLE MOROCCAN THINGS – TEA SET – $143

Handmade and hand-engraved Moroccan tea set – Made in Morocco by real artisans

tea party

STAINLESS STEEL HEAT DIFFUSER – $22

This is the heat diffuser I have been using for years to protect my teapot and tagine pot!

heat diffuser tagine

LE CADEAUX MOROCCAN INSPIRED PLATES – $75

Beautifully crafted Moroccan-inspired plates for serving your dishes.

moroccan plates tagine

Authentic Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

Authentic Moroccan mint tea recipe using gunpowder tea, fresh mint and aromatics. Every sip will taste like being on vacation in Morocco!
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 23kcal
Cost: 0.3

Ingredients

  • 4 branches fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp white sugar adjust to taste and diet
  • 3 cups water

Additional Aromatics (use separately or combined)

Instructions

  • Put the green tea leaves in your teapot.
  • Boil water in a separate kettle.
  • Once water is boiling, pour 1 cup of water in your teapot and swish it around a few times to clean the tea leaves. This helps get rid of tea's strong and sour flavors.
  • Pour that water in the sink through the teapot spout.
  • Now that your tea leaves are clean and the flavors milder, pour the remaining boiling water in the teapot. Don't fill the teapot to the brim keeping one inch space. Add the sugar.
  • Position the teapot on the stove. Turn the heat to medium and let boil for 1 to 3 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea. Also, the more you boil your tea the more caffeine content you will get.
  • Add mint (fresh or dried) and make sure it is all covered with water, otherwise, it may leave your tea with a bitter taste. If you are using fresh mint branches and they don't fit in the teapot, you can bend them.
  • Let everything boil for another 1 to 2 minutes, until liquid starts foaming slightly.
  • Turn the heat off. Be careful as your teapot can get extremely hot, so make sure you wrap the handle with a cotton cloth.
  • Add the orange blossom water or other aromatics.
  • Serve hot with some cookies, pastries or biscuits.

TEAPOT CARE

Nutrition

Calories: 23kcal

Safaa, founder of moroccanzest

From design and decor to food and travel, moroccanzest is the space where I share what I loved growing up in Morocco, and more. It’s your destination for everything beautiful, artistic, and made the Moroccan way with love. Learn more about me here.