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Moroccan Tea Ceremony

Ritual & Secrets of Mint Tea

The traditional art of Moroccan tea

Imported from China since the 12th century, Green tea is the ancestral association of Moroccan tea. Before the arrival of green tea from China, Moroccans used to consume infusions of Mint and other aromatic plants depending on the season - wormwood, sage, thyme or lemon verbena.

Mint Tea is the favorite drink of Moroccans, and the legendary ritual of hospitality in Morocco. Quickly adopted by all social classes, it is consumed on average five times a day - commonly known as "Atay" (in Arabic: أتاي ) .

Origin of the Moroccan Tea Ceremony

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.

The Moroccan tea ceremony is based on four main principles:

  • Marhaba (Arabic: مرحبا, meaning Welcome)
  • Salam (in Arabic: سلام, meaning Peace)
  • Barakh (Arabic: بركة, meaning the Blessing)
  • Alhamdulillah (Arabic: الحمد لله, meaning Gratitude)

Today, this same philosophy is still taught in schools. The Master of Ceremonies often has multidisciplinary training, in cultural, philosophical and scientific fields.

In fact, the teaching and the practice is the experience of life, and the disciple always remains attentive to his Mâalam (in Arabic: معلم), literally "the one who knows".

Traditionally, men perform the tea ceremony more regularly than women during major ceremonies.

Utensils for the Moroccan Tea ceremony

The Master of Ceremonies surrounds himself with the following objects:

In Arabic



ابريق الشاي

Abriq AlShay

Teapot - often called Barad Atay in Moroccan

كأس الشاي المغربي

Kess Alshshay

Tea glasses - often called Kess Atay in Moroccan

صينية شاي مغربي

Siniat AlShay

Tea tray - often called Siniat Atay in Moroccan

علبة شاي

Eulbat AlShay

Tea box - often called Eulbat Atay in Moroccan

علبة نعناع مغربية

Eulbat Naanaa

Mint box - often called Eulbat Nana in Moroccan

علبة سكر مغربي

Eulbat Sakar

Sugar box - containing Moroccan sugar loaf

ملعقة صغيرة

Malaeaqat Saghira

Teaspoon which is used to transfer the tea from the tea box to the teapot.

طقم شاي مغربي منديل طرز الفيسي

Taqum AlShay Mndil Tarz Alfisii

Set of napkin for Moroccan tray in "Terz el Fassi", containing a bottom of the tray, a holder and teapot cover and small napkins for the guests

غسل اليدين

Ghasil alyadin

Traditional Moroccan hand basin

مرشة ماء ورد مغربي

Marashat ma 'warad

Rose water sprinkler to perfume the guests

In its most traditional version, the highly codified protocol asks guests to bring gifts, depending on the circumstances and the means of each guest

Course of the Mint Tea Ceremony

There are several types of ceremonies depending on the Mint tea (light, sweet, strong) served.

Here is a description of the Moroccan Tea Ceremony most often encountered (the short version) where a Mint Green Tea is tasted:

  1. Purification - The Tea Master, dressed in traditional clothes, begins by greeting (Salam Alaikum) his guests, then places the various kitchen utensils in their defined position. The towels are used to clean the glasses (Kess) and the teapot (Barad). Then the host pours hot water into the teapot to warm it up, and rinse it before making Mint Tea . The fresh mint was washed with fresh water and rinsed beforehand.
  2. Preparation - The master places two spoons of green tea - Gunpowder in the teapot, which corresponds to approximately three grams. He adds hot water and stirs the teapot in an elliptical rotation. The movement begins with a slight rotation to unify the brew. Then, a firm and rapid back and forth movement should be made up and down. This first beverage is poured into a glass, awaiting the final preparation. The Master adds hot water to the teapot, and starts the rotary movements again to remove any impurities from the green tea. This new mixture is poured and then discarded because it is very bitter and impure. The Host can then add a natural sweetener (honey, gave syrup or organic stevia leaf powder), and fresh Mint , and fill the teapot with hot water (around 90 ° C) . The Master lets the mixture infuse in the teapot on a low heat for two minutes. Then the Master pours the mixture into two tea glasses, and returns the mixture from the glasses to the teapot to continue the infusion while oxygenating the mint tea. This operation is repeated several times under the expert eye of the Master. As the foam appears more and more at the top of the glasses, all of the aromas have merged for an excellent flavor from this first infusion.
  3. Tasting - Prepared in this way, tea can be served to guests of honor, serving them from right to left. Before tasting, all guests should be served a glass of mint tea. Then everyone raises their glass in respect for the host and says the phrase "Bismil'Allah" (In the name of God). Drinking from the front side is an unforgivable error of etiquette. Mint tea is drunk in several small sips, without ever putting the glass back on the table.When the glasses of all the guests are placed on the table, an assistant clears the tables and brings back new glasses for a second then the third and final tasting
  4. Appreciation  - The host thanks all of the guests for agreeing to share this mint tea. All the guests in turn thank him and make divine invocations to reward the Master of Ceremonies and his family for their generous hospitality.

In the long version, guests then taste Moroccan cuisine, often around couscous or tagine. Accompanied by mint tea, the experience ends with a selection of Moroccan pastries.

For the shorter version, only the selection of pastries is shown.

Attend a Moroccan Tea ceremony

At Maison NANA1807 , a Moroccan Tea ceremony lasts about an hour depending on the number of guests, and the recipe for Mint Tea selected.

To live this experience during a stay in Berry or Morocco, book on .

Maison NANA1807 - Cérémonie du Thé Marocain


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