Moroccan mint tea (nana)

The merry sweet Moroccan mint tea is well known to most people. In Morocco you will be offered  a cup as soon as you enter a place. You can order it on each terrace for about 10 dirham. Approximately twenty sugar lumps go into a large pot. Oops. Almost everybody starts their day with mint tea in Morocco. Together with bread, biscuits or msm’s. Some families repeat this around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Only this time with olives, croissants, baguette and jam.

As the tea is being made of various types of mint, the flavour of the tea will differ per region. For example you have Meknesi mint, Abdi mint, Brouje mint and Tamaris mint. The names refere to the region where the mint comes from. The way it is presented also differs per region. Like in the North you will get a glass of tea with a mint twig in it. While, South of Fez you will get a pot of tea (berad) from which you can drink several small cups. This is a good way for you practising their serving ritual.

Less known, but just as nice are the other varieties of herbal teas.

Less known, but just as nice are the other varieties of herbal teas. You can combine mint with bergamot or sage. Or you can use rosemary, thyme. or wormwood herb in stead of mint. Rosemary and thyme tea are good when you feel a bit nausea, digestive or when you have a blown up feeling. Wormwood herb replaces the fresh mint during the cold winter days.

Underneath you will find a recipe for the Moroccan mint or other herb teas. You will notice that it takes a lot more time to prepare than just hanging a tea bag in a cup of hot water. Therefor this is not a ritual when you are in a hurry. But, if you take the time and follow the steps carefully, you will find it almost a meditative experience with a very tasteful tea as result.

Recipe

What do you need?

  • 2 tablespoons of Chinese green tea (gun powder)
  • A small bunch of mint or other herbs
  • Sugar, honey or agave syrup
  • Teapot

Follow the next steps

  1. Fill the teapot with the Chinese green tea
  2. Boil the water and pour half a cup on the Chinese tea. Let the tea rest for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the water out of the teapot into a cup and keep it seperately. You will see that the tea leaves in the teapot have opened.
  4. Pour new water on top of the tea leaves until they are covered. Wash the tea leaves by stirring them and pour off the water in the kitchen sink.
  5. Pour the water from step 3 back into the teapot. Fill the teapot with boiling water, but leave enough room for the mint. If you have a Moroccan teapot, you can put the teapot on the fire until it is boiling again. Remove the teapot from the fire and add the mint and sweetner immediately.
  6. While pouring the tea in a small cup you slowly move the pot higher and higher. This way the water cools down and a nice layer of foam will arise on top of the tea. Toss the cup back and repeat this again, and then once more. Now the mint and sweetner have been fully blended with the water and you will have a very tasteful tea. Then, pour once more a cup and enjoy it!