Morroccan Mint history?


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Morroccan Mint history?

Postby teaspoon » Jul 22nd, '05, 13:54

I was wondering if anybody could tell me about the origins of Morroccan Mint tea. Is it really a traditional Morroccan blend, or did Europeans introduce it? When did Morroccan mint tea as we know it come into existence? Is it usually served hot or iced? I've been curious about that for a while, but then today I heard something from one of my friends about a "coffeeshop" of sorts at a medieval/Renaissance reenacting event, which apparently sells Morroccan mint tea. Since this particular event is known for being more about fun than complete accuracy, I decided I'd try and find out once and for all!

Thanks!
teaspoon
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Postby chris » Jul 22nd, '05, 14:01

Thanks for the note.

Don't know much about it, but i know that in Morocco it is mainly used as a business tool. Shopkeepers greet prospective customers with a glass of this sweet, mint-flavored green tea. This can either be served hot or cold and at various levels of sweetness (probably depending on how big the sale).

Sweetly,

Chris
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Postby Mike B » Jul 22nd, '05, 15:15

I was wondering if anybody could tell me about the origins of Morroccan Mint tea.

Well, teaspoon, your mother and I were hoping we wouldn't have to answer this question for you for a couple of more years. My, how time flies. It just seems like yesterday you were eating paste and wearing your Princess Chrissy crown everywhere.

Even when we sat shiva for your Aunt Rosa.

Anyway, when a Mommie Moroccan Mint and a Daddie Moroccan Mint marry and want to have baby Moroccan Mints (or, when, say, two Daddie Moroccan Mints call up their flighty theater major friend from college named Allison -- but she changed her name to Gilbralta because it just felt better), there's a special magical moment that's totally beautiful and totally natural (or it's cold and clinical and the porn they provide at the donation center is all circa 1970 and while, hey, who doesn't like a hairy guy, there's a moment where you just need to say, "Take off the aviator mirrored sunglasses and shave for the love of Pete!").

Now, that trashy friend of yours -- Trisha? Well, Trisha comes from a home where one or both parents drink and she'll no doubt fill your head with all sorts of ugly mishigas but you say to her, "Trisha? More like Trasha." And then you forget everything she ever said.

See. That wasn't so hard was it? Now, Daddie needs a drink...
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Postby teaspoon » Jul 22nd, '05, 15:29

Heeheehee... I think Chris has been outdone this time! Though it is definitely interesting to know that the tea is used as a commercial hospitality sort of thing. Mike B's post is the reason I shouldn't read this at work... if someone had come in while I was laughing at it, they'd've thought I'm insane!
~teaspoon, newly obsessed with signing posts
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Postby chris » Jul 22nd, '05, 16:20

And here I was, thinking i was the only Tea Comic out there... It's like finding a long-lost relative that i didn't even know existed!

Now that I think about it, I can definitely see a family resemblance:

Image

Welcome to the club, and remember: Steepin' is easy, comedy is hard!

Your brother in arms,

Chris
Adagio Maestro

ps...I always liked Casablanca Twist better than Morroccan Mint anyway!
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Postby Tracy » Jul 26th, '05, 16:18

:lol:
You guys are too funny, and I just came here to place a wholesale order (20 minutes ago)!!

Anyhoo, when I saw Morocco in the thread list, I couldn't resist, as it's one of my favorite places to travel. I read that the English introduced the green (gunpowder) tea to Maroc via Tangier during the Crimean War. Prior to this, they did drink mint tea, sans the gunpowder.

Now they drink it all over the country. In the north, the tea tends to be lighter and more delicate. In the south, I remember it being much stronger (although just as sweet), and "heartier." Depending on the season, other herbs might be introduced into the brew.

As Chris correctly pointed out, if you go somewhere to conduct business, you will be offered tea. Really, in my experience there (like many other parts of the world), you're offered tea anywhere you're a guest.

That's the beauty of tea culture, imho. :)
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Postby teaspoon » Jul 26th, '05, 16:24

Ahh, thanks Tracy! That's pretty much exactly what I wanted to know! I love this board...

~the inquisitive spoon
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Postby PeteVu » Jul 26th, '05, 16:27

every time someone comes to my house i have to brew a pot of tea. ive been doing it since i was little, always been my job, never even thought about it. now when someone shows up in my dorm room i offer some tea, and its not that hard becuase im usually drinking some while im in there anyways. ^^ Plus conversation is the best companion to a good cup of tea. ^^
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Postby Guest » Aug 15th, '05, 00:20

Mint tea as a business tool??? I am sorry but you are quite wrong! I am an American food writer living in Morocco. (www.typepad.com Ya Rai Our Rai, or www.hajar.bz.tc) It is the national drink, is unheard of cold; people were stunned when I mentioned cold/iced mint tea and is a sign of Moroccan hospitality. It is drunk by everyone, every day, all day and everywhere. Even a junk garage has a pot and glasses with somebody leaing several times a day to make the tea. Yes, merchants in souks (outdoor markets) WILL offer tea at times but only if you are going to BUY something and they know that already. The level of sweetness is very individual and has nothing to do with anything other than that! Even those who do not like it too sweet make it very sweet for the western palate. Just a bit of FYI!

Hajar

Mike B wrote:
I was wondering if anybody could tell me about the origins of Morroccan Mint tea.

Well, teaspoon, your mother and I were hoping we wouldn't have to answer this question for you for a couple of more years. My, how time flies. It just seems like yesterday you were eating paste and wearing your Princess Chrissy crown everywhere.

Even when we sat shiva for your Aunt Rosa.

Anyway, when a Mommie Moroccan Mint and a Daddie Moroccan Mint marry and want to have baby Moroccan Mints (or, when, say, two Daddie Moroccan Mints call up their flighty theater major friend from college named Allison -- but she changed her name to Gilbralta because it just felt better), there's a special magical moment that's totally beautiful and totally natural (or it's cold and clinical and the porn they provide at the donation center is all circa 1970 and while, hey, who doesn't like a hairy guy, there's a moment where you just need to say, "Take off the aviator mirrored sunglasses and shave for the love of Pete!").

Now, that trashy friend of yours -- Trisha? Well, Trisha comes from a home where one or both parents drink and she'll no doubt fill your head with all sorts of ugly mishigas but you say to her, "Trisha? More like Trasha." And then you forget everything she ever said.

See. That wasn't so hard was it? Now, Daddie needs a drink...
Guest
 

Postby teaspoon » Aug 15th, '05, 10:38

Oh wow, thanks! Interesting how different perspectives can present entirely different statements as facts. Thanks for the in-depth "been there" answer!

~teaspoon
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Postby Mike B » Aug 16th, '05, 09:59

Anonymous wrote:Mint tea as a business tool??? I am sorry but you are quite wrong!

Three question marks when one will do? From a self-professed writer? Hm. Who's wrong now.

It is the national drink, is unheard of cold; people were stunned when I mentioned cold/iced mint tea and is a sign of Moroccan hospitality.

I dated a Moroccan guy once named Khaled who introduced me to cold Moroccan mint tea, so I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's unheard of.

Turns out? I hate sweet Moroccan mint tea. So I always made sure to show up at his place with a cup of coffee or tea already in hand. Otherwise, he'd force the stuff on me and my mama raised me right and I couldn't refuse. But, bleh: that stuff, for my palate, is awful.

Yes, merchants in souks (outdoor markets) WILL offer tea at times but only if you are going to BUY something and they know that already. The level of sweetness is very individual and has nothing to do with anything other than that! Even those who do not like it too sweet make it very sweet for the western palate. Just a bit of FYI!

So then Moroccan mint can be used as a business tool, right? There doesn't appear to be anything "quite wrong" about it.
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Postby chris » Aug 16th, '05, 10:40

Hajar,

Many thanks for the feedback.

I am an American food writer living in America, and we use an ingenious new writing device that may not yet have been discovered in Morocco: humor. Just kidding! (see?)

I've seen Moroccan Mint served both iced and hot as well (thanks for the backup, Mike B) and can also attest to the fact that it is used in a business setting (although i was intentionally exaggerating for entertainment's sake). However, you're the expert, so i bow to your expertise.

Hope your writing's going well - website looks great,

Chris
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Postby teaspoon » Aug 16th, '05, 10:52

Oh my... I had no idea I was asking such a controversial question!

Thanks for pacifying, Chris. Though I think we should have a mud-wrestling match between Hajar and Mike B to see who is right! Medieval justice, trial by combat! Oh, better yet, instead of mud, we'll have them wrestle in a vat of wet, used tea leaves!

Ok I have to go do homework and pretend to be sane now...

~the old-fashioned teaspoon
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Postby jogrebe » Nov 7th, '05, 13:03

teaspoon wrote:I think we should have a mud-wrestling match between Hajar and Mike B to see who is right! Medieval justice, trial by combat! Oh, better yet, instead of mud, we'll have them wrestle in a vat of wet, used tea leaves!


Great idea teaspoon, tea wrestling, now that sounds a lot more civilized and refined than barbaric medieval style mud wrestling or immature college party jello wrestling. Just how long would it take for us to college enough tea leaves to fill up a kiddie pool for them to battle it out in? I guess if nothing else we could all start saving our used tea leaves in the freezer from now till next May or so then we could converge upon Adagio's headquarters in NY, set up the tea wrestling in the lawn.

John Grebe
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Postby chris » Nov 7th, '05, 16:13

We're actually down the Parkway a little, in NJ.
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