Nothing defines Moroccan culture as distinctly as its tea. Moroccan tea is not only delicious, the way the tea is presented is beautiful, & the ritual serving the tea is meaningful. It is a tradition passed through generations.
We explore the Morocan & Magrehbi tea ceremony…
From the tea to the tea pot, from the tea pot to the tea glasses, and from the tea-glasses to the tea-drinking, Moroccan & Magrehbi tea culture is all about being unhurried and artful, gentle and graceful, warm and welcoming.
The tea is also known as Magrehbi tea, with Maghreb (meaning “sunshine”) being the region comprising the Northwest African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya & Mauritania. Each of these countries has a very similar approach to the minty tea, with slight variations.
Tea serving. Marrakech 1988
There is an interesting story that the Moroccan traveler, Ibn Batuta first brought tea to Morocco in the 14th century & it is in the 18th century the British introduced tea to Morocco.
Tea serving. Marrakech 1988
Today, there is a remarkably vibrant tea culture in Morocco that the Moroccans are rightly proud of. Tea is intricately woven into the social fabric of life and has become a symbol of traditional Moroccan hospitality.
In Arab-Islamic culture, the concept of hospitality is triangular - it consists of God, guest and host. - For the guest, hospitality is a right rather than a gift - For the host, hospitality is a duty to God and then to his guest.
Preparing a cup of tea in the Maghreb does not only mean boiling water and adding mint leaves, but represents a ceremonial art that is handed down generation after generation.
The Moroccan tea ceremony is based on four main principles: •Marhaba (Arabic: مرحبا, meaning Welcome) •Salam (in Arabic: سلام, meaning Peace) •Baraka (Arabic: بركة, meaning the Blessing) •Alhamdulillah (Arabic: الحمد لله, meaning Gratitude).
In Morocco, every guest, at home or office or shop, is warmly welcomed with freshly brewed tea. Tea precedes, accompanies and ends every meal. Tea is also at any time between meals. The day ends with tea before going to bed.
Also called Maghrebi tea or Tuareg tea, Moroccan tea is prepared using the Chinese green tea, particularly the tightly curled gunpowder grade. Fresh spearmint leaves are the signature addition that gives Moroccan tea its flavour & sugar is added to give it sweetness.
Atai is also the symbol of Moroccan hospitality & like in many tea cultures around the world, refusing Atai is considered impolite & rude. The preparation & the process of Atai is also unique. It entails signature steps and gestures - each having a special meaning and symbol
A typical Moroccan tea ceremony will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a time-honored tradition that is steeped in hospitality and respect.