Drinks

Morrocan mint tea

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Hiii everyone. Today I’m going to share my all time favourite tea with you. Because of my Turkish background I grew up drinking tea. Tea was literally everywhere.  Just like me grewing up with Turkish tea, my Morrocan friends grew up drinking mint tea. And with them I developed some sort of love for mint tea. In Turkey, the Middle East and the Maghreb tea occupies a very important place. Since many moslims don’t drink alcohol, tea is served instead anytime anywhere. It is consumed daily but drinking tea becomes a real ceremony when guests come to visit. Actually, the true meaning of tea is hospitality. Meaning: no one ever leaves the house before having a cup :). While Turkish tea is prepared with black tea (I’ll give the recipe soon) Moroccan mint tea is prepared with green tea and mint leaves. Morrocans like to drink their tea bitter and sweet. So, if you’re not a sugar lover (like they are) add less. I like to drink mine less bitter and less sugary, so I adjust it to my personal taste. If you don’t like the bitterness of it, don’t allow it to steep for too long (5 minutes is enough). Sometimes I add a tablespoon of orange blossom water to it for a different flavour. So, if you want to please your guests, you know what to do. Just serve them a cup (or 5) of tea. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of fresh mint leaves (washed)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese gunpowder tea
  • 1,5 tablespoon sugar
  • 1L water
  • orange blossom water (optional)

In order to wash the tea, put the tea in the teapot and add a bit of boiling water. Set aside and pour out the water after 1 minute. Your tea is clean now. (This process will make your tea taste less bitter).  Add the mint leaves, sugar and boiling water and leave it to steep for 5 minutes on the stove. Take a glass and pour some tea in it. Then pour the tea back in the pot. Repeat this two more times. This will mix the tea and dissolve the sugar. Now, pour the tea into glasses and serve.

Good to know:

  • Before serving pour the tea from a distance to create a layer of foam.
  • The tea turns bitter very quickly so consume within 15 or 20 minutes.
  • If you don’t have gunpowder tea at home use 2 or 3 bags of green tea.

Enjoy!

Salep (Sahlep)

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Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me pure dried salep. I was familiar with salep of course but I’ve always had those instant salep mixes. She ensured me real salep was different, so I’ve decided to give it a try. I must say for a first attempt the result was: delicious!!! It tastes like Turkish ice cream (which is very different than the ice creams we know). A bit of useful information on Salep: Salep is a traditional Turkish drink. It was a popular beverage during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. It is produced from the bulbs of some species of the orchid family. They only grow in certain regions in Turkey. Real salep is expensive so the more expensive the better. You can find it (the instant ones) in your local Turkish supermarket, but for the real ones you should go to Turkey or any other former Ottoman land.  All I can say is try it out and you’ll find out 🙂

For two cups you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of salep,
  • 2 cups of whole milk,
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  • vanilla (optional)
  • cinnamon

Mix the salep, the milk and sugar in a pan. Stir on low heat until you have a thicker consistency. (When removing from the stove you can add some vanilla). Pour into a cup and garnish it with some cinnamon on top. You can also add some chopped walnuts or pistachios as a topping.

Afiyet olsun!

PS I’m not even mentioning the health benefits. Just look it up 🙂