Many historians place the introduction of tea to Morocco in the 18th century as a result of the expansion of trade with Asia. Others trace tea’s Moroccan origins as far back as the 1100s. What can’t be disputed is that today tea is powerfully intertwined with the national identity. An offer of Moroccan tea is a gesture of hospitality and goodwill.
Moroccan Tea Preparation
Moroccan mint tea is customarily made by the head of a family. Its ceremonial preparation is nearly as important as the act of drinking it. The height from which the steaming tea is poured into a glass is an important part of Morocco’s tea-serving tradition. It not only demonstrates the preparer’s skill in the art of tea-making, but it also aerates the tea and creates a desirable blanket of foam.
Types of Moroccan Tea
Nana is a species of mint that is indigenous to Morocco. Native nana has a bold aroma and a delicately sweet taste that truly sets it apart from other mint.
The quintessential tea of Morocco, atay is made by the liberal addition of mint leaves and sugar to Chinese green tea. The result is a warming, wonderfully sweet tea with a potent mint flavor. Atay is a hallmark of Moroccan culture and its legendary hospitality: this is the tea offered in every Moroccan household, at every Moroccan cafe.
Moroccans have long used Louiza as a soothing and therapeutic herbal tea. This traditional Moroccan lemon verbena is known for its refreshing lemony flavor and health-giving properties, such as supporting healthy digestion and boosting the immune system.
Sheeba, also spelled sheba or chiba, refers to the intensely fragrant and bitter-tasting leaves of the tree wormwood, a native Mediterranean plant. The leaves are sometimes mixed with mint or green tea to balance their natural sharpness, along with generous amounts of sugar.
Also known as pennyroyal, flio is an herb from the mint family used to add rich flavor and aroma to Moroccan tea.