Indulge in the fine art of Moroccan mint tea
Without a doubt, I miss Moroccan mint tea. Not only do I often think back on that perfectly brewed, overly sweetened cup of gunpowder green tea brewed with fresh spearmint leaves, but I remember the ritual itself. When I traveled in Morocco, our group had several opportunities to visit local families in their homes where we could converse (through a translator) over mint tea and biscuits. Those visits were surely a highlight of the trip. One element that's often lacking when we travel is the chance to experience first-hand how the locals live, and to participate in their customs. But the Morocco trip was different, thanks to our guide, who wanted us to be exposed to as much of the culture as possible. It was a special experience, seeing the residential neighborhoods, admiring the beautiful decorations in the homes, looking at family photos, and learning which soccer team was the family favorite. During one visit, we were shown how to brew the tea, which type of glass to use, and how to pour -- hold the teapot far above the glasses to create a "foam" at the top. Although there are numerous products sold in the US labeled as Moroccan mint tea, none of them will ever come close to the real thing! But after much testing, I found two different teas that I brew together, sit on my floor cushion, and use my imagination for the rest.
By Sue Manuel, AFAR Local Expert