Sweet Moroccan Mint Tea is a staple of North African cuisine and culture, it’s easy to make and can be served hot or iced. This delicious tea soothes in winter and refreshes in summer.
what is Moroccan mint tea?
It’s a traditional North African drink that’s consumed day and night in many parts of Morocco and beyond. If you are a guest in someone’s house you will be immediately offered a glass of it, and it is impolite to refuse. Why would you? This delicious beverage starts with strongly brewed green tea which is sweetened with honey or sugar, and then poured over fresh mint sprigs. If you are making my Moroccan lemon and cardamom meatballs, or maybe a simple tabbouleh salad, you should really try this to go alongside.
what you’ll need to make Moroccan mint tea
- green tea ~ Chinese gunpowder tea is traditional but you can substitute any green tea you like.
- fresh mint leaves ~ spearmint is traditional but you can also use peppermint. Fresh mint is essential for this tea.
- sugar or honey for sweetening.
how to make Moroccan mint tea
Mine is an abbreviated version of the traditional Moroccan method, which is a bit more complicated. I’ve simplified it so you can enjoy this fragrant tea any time the notion strikes. You can read about the full technique here.
- Brew a fresh green tea of your choice.
- Sweeten the tea with sugar or honey to taste. Traditional Moroccan tea is served quite sweet.
- Fill a glass with fresh mint leaves. For extra flavor you can bruise some of the leaves with the back of a spoon which releases the essential oils so they can better infuse into the tea. Do this sparingly, because mint is potent.
- Pour the hot tea into the glass over the mint.
how to make iced mint tea
- Make the tea as above, then strain and refrigerate.
- Serve the chilled tea over ice, with more fresh mint.
grow your own mint!
Mint grows like a weed in most climates, (it’s a hardy perennial in zones 3-11) so if you have any outdoor space, or even a large earthenware pot, I highly recommend planting fresh mint. It will grow in shade or sun, but loves moisture, so keep it watered and you’ll have the makings for this tea on hand at all times. If you visit your local nursery you’ll find lots of interesting varieties, too.
If you purchase mint from the supermarket, trim the ends off the stems and put them in a glass of water. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate. Supermarket mint sprigs can be rooted easily in a glass of water, left on the counter. Change the water regularly until the roots sprout. Then you can transplant into a pot, or in your garden.
potential health benefits of mint
Peppermint has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with various ailments. It’s actively being studied for many potential health benefits, and has been used for centuries to treat common conditions. Note: most studies have been done on peppermint oil and extracts, not on peppermint tea, per se. Peppermint can:
- ease upset stomach and other digestive troubles
- relieve tension headaches
- freshen breath
- help clear sinuses and open breathing passages
- energize you
- help relax menstrual cramps
- help you fall asleep
- help with seasonal allergies
Spearmint has similar health giving properties, with ongoing studies exploring its benefits. Spearmint can:
- help lower blood pressure
- ease arthritis pain
- freshen breath and help digestion
- fight cancer and heart disease with antioxidants
- help balance hormones
- improve memory
- fight infection
- lower blood sugar
Sweet Moroccan Mint Tea
- 1 cup Strongly brewed green tea
- mint sprigs
- sugar or honey to taste
- Sweeten freshly brewed green tea with sugar or honey, to taste.
- Place mint sprigs in a cup or glass and pour the hot tea over them.
- For iced tea, chill the tea in the refrigerator and serve over ice, with fresh mint.
notes and variations
- If you want a stronger mint flavor you can bruise some of the leaves with the back of a spoon to release their flavor, before pouring the tea.
- The traditional Moroccan tea service is rather more complex than the way we enjoy it in the West ~ if you're interested, you can read all about it here.
- This tea is served in glasses so you can appreciate the beautiful mint leaves. Just be sure yours can handle the heat. You can buy beautiful glasses made for Moroccan tea here.