In any town, village, or city in Morocco, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will be served hot tea. It is a ritual which entertains guests, completes meals, and marks special occasions. It is part of the rich Moroccan culture.
Tea was introduced to Morocco during the 18th century and Sultan Moulay Ismaei was a major tea lover! He was originally given the tea as a gift from the British and Dutch. Traditionally, a "moulatai" or tea man was hired to ceremoniously brew and serve the tea by pouring it into tiny tea glasses from high above the glass in order to aerate the tea and produce a foam on the top. The tea was served in order of age and social rank.
Moroccan Tea is an official drink of the nation and its nickname is "Berber Whiskey." Morocco is actually the largest importer of Chinese Green Tea in the world. A Moroccan friend we met in Marrakech said, he drinks up to 21 cups a day. That's a lot of tea! He was nice enough to include us in a traditional tea ceremony in the back of his uncle's shop in the medina. It was such a neat experience. I bought a tea set there and am so looking forward to sharing tea with family, friends, coworkers, and students.
Although I love the tea, what I adore the most about this tradition is that having tea brings people together to converse and this is where I have learned so many wonderful things about my "fellows" and the Moroccan people. Turning down a cup of tea is considered rude and due to my "Moroccan Tea Mania," this has not been a problem. Shukran to all my new Moroccan family for sharing so much more than tea with me! Bismillah!
*Check out the youtube link so you can learn how to make Moroccan Tea...Click on the title My Moroccan Tea Mania to view the video*