Thursday, 19 July 2012

Leaf it be- shay na `na´


I have a strong aversion to sweetened hot drinks.I can´t bear sugar in my tea or coffee.Moroccan mint tea (shay na `na´) is invariably sweet.The sweetness apparently ameliorates the underlying bitterness of the green tea they use as a base for the mint.Pour moi plain fresh mint with nothing else added makes a brilliantly restorative,digestive drink and a real pick me up under an Al-gharb summer sky.If you must have sweetness try a drizzle of honey.
My kind of Cha is about throwing abundant handfuls of mint sprigs into a cafetiere or glass pot, pour boiling water on it and let it steep for a few minutes.
Well I could do a lot worse than take a leaf out of the Moroccans´book.
Mint tea isn't just a drink in Morocco.The making of mint tea is surrounded with ritual,and it´s usually the man of the house who is responsible for it.As one of the men of this house I usually take responsibility for dinner guests who request  a mint tea after dinner.It is a sign of hospitality, friendship and tradition. Because this drink is so popular, it is served all day long, after every meal and with every conversation. Moroccans take great pride in their tea and will often ask a visitor who among their group of friends makes the best cup of mint tea.A good mint tea is always sweetened with sugar;the sugar is added to the pot before serving rather than to the cups.A traditional Moroccan mint tea is made with, can you believe 3 tablespoons of golden caster sugar,2 teaspoons of green tea and only 6 mint leaves crushed,( my handfuls must tot up to about 600). Anyway here is how the Moroccan men make it. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and steep 5 minutes. Strain tea mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Note: When you get loose tea from tea bags, one regular green tea bag will yield 1 teaspoon loose tea leaves.One of our guests has just made me try her tisane recipe which is simplicity in itself.Take a handful of mint leaves add some thin slices of fresh ginger and steep in a pot of boiling water-Deeelicious.Gosto bom!!!!!                                                                                                                                              
Who says there ain't no cure for the summertime blues?
                                                                                                    



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                





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