Moroccan mint tea
Moroccan mint tea, or atai as it commonly known, plays a vital role in Moroccan culture. Although packed with antioxidants, this green tea blended with mint leaves is the drink of hospitality rather than of health. In a country where women most commonly prepare refreshments in the home, Atai is traditionally a man’s affair. Ritually mixed and presented to guests as an ice-breaker, its preparation is considered something of an art form and is relatively complex compared to tea-brewing methods elsewhere. Eye flickering sweet (around five teaspoon of tea) the beverage is poured from a height of around half a meter, resulting in a foamy head and an aerated and aromatic golden liquid. The longer the tea steeps in the pot the stronger it becomes, hence the popular saying: the fist glass is a gentle a s life, the second glass a s strong as love, the third glass a s bitter as death.
No social meeting is complete without a minimum of three glasses; the mild digestive is considered so fundamental to almost all daily interactions that it is laughingly referred to as “Berber whiskey“. If you are lucky enough to be invited into a Moroccan home, expect to liberally partake of this symbol of friendship; to refuse is viewed as a virtual declaration of hostility. What is more, no business transaction is clinched without the brew, as becomes immediately apparent when haggling in the souks.