Posted in Kafevend Blog
In Morocco sweet mint tea is the standard, served in glasses and as much a part of everyday life as tea is here in the UK. It is drunk at any time of the day and always served to visitors to make them feel welcome. There is some dispute as to when and how tea was first introduced though. Some maintain that tea arrived in North Africa as far back as the thirteenth century, thanks to trade routes established by Genghis Khan connecting China and the West. The other school of thought says that tea drinking wasn't established until some five hundred years later as a result of the British tea trade. Whatever the true origin may be, Morocco has made mint tea its own.
Green tea is used, specifically gunpowder tea, so called because each leaf is rolled up into a small pellet resulting in an overall appearance of lead shot. Traditionally tea was prepared with great ceremony in front of guests, a custom which is nowadays generally reserved for special occasions. However, many people do still grow their own mint for convenience and a fresher flavour; Moroccan mint has a mild, spearmint flavour. As well as gunpowder tea and fresh mint, plenty of sugar is added in large chunks broken off a sugar cone.
A typical accompaniment to mint tea is a sweet pastry called kaab el ghzal, or gazelle horns. These are crescent shaped pastries, filled with an almond paste and dusted with icing sugar. A very dainty pastry to go with a sweet, refreshing drink.