Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tea report from Morocco

Dear friends Mitch & Tanya recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary with an excursion through Morocco. I asked about any tea encounters, and Tanya provided this report:

The time: After breakfast. After lunch. After dinner. After you bought something from them. Before you bought something from them to entice you to buy ...

The flavors: The base was a bitter tea, but I never had any without fresh mint. They always asked if I wanted mint and I never declined it. After one meal we had in Essaouira, the tea was flavored with cinnamon, orange, mint and rose. It was lovely.

The delivery: On a silver tray.

The pots: Always the silver, fluted, Victorian-esque type like the kind you see in this photo I took [the photo above, from Tanya's exquisite photo blog] Never once did they use a purely functional or simple Japanese-type pot. And never clay or plastic pots. Always some kind of metal, always silver in color.

The tea receptacles: Cute little glasses, about 3 inches tall and 2 inches wide. They were generally indented in some fashion near the top, almost like a votive candle holder. The glasses were clear and not adorned in any way.

The process: HOT water, tea, fresh, unground flavorings floating right in the pot. No bags or screens. The local (it was always the local) would pour the tea from the pot WAY high into a glass — the stream of tea was usually 10 inches to a foot. Then he would pour that back in the pot. Then he would pour the tea from WAY high again into the same glass, and then back in the pot again. This happened four, sometimes five times before actually serving. We assumed this process was to (1) cool the tea and (2) mix the flavors. I was always the first to get one. They poured the tea to the aforementioned groove and hand me my glass of fucking. hot. tea. Presumably the tea steeped for a while before delivery.

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