I grew up eating a lot of Middle Eastern food. My parents traveled all over the Middle East when I was a kid and my entire house was a museum of Persian rugs, huge brass trays, pouf poufs, statues and traditional instruments, like the oud. I am half Mexican but if anything I feel more connected with Middle Eastern culture. I grew up visiting small markets on the weekend to buy fresh feta cheese, pita bread and pickled turnips with my dad. I cant even recount the number of Moroccan parties we had where we sat on the floor on and ate with our hands. I grew up listening to Arabic language music, and my first fish was named after the Arabic word for prince. My parents would make me hummus to bring to school while kids would make fun of me, and my best friend would stick up for me saying well you dont even know what it is, it tastes so good! I was even lucky enough to visit Egypt as my first overseas adventure. So suffice it to say, I also drank a lot of tea as well. I never made this at home per say but I have tasted it a number of times at restaurants. My boyfriend was going on about how he had this amazing mint tea on a trip to San Francisco so I set about to recreate it. It turned out so good, we drank two teapot fulls. Its perfect for these cold fall nights!
2 green tea bags (traditional recipe calls for gunpowder green tea but I had none)
3-4 c. water
2 tsp fine sugar
a huge handful of mint sprigs (12-15 sprigs)
You dont need to have traditional teapot like the berrad, I used a plain glass teapot, but it is nice to use the authentic accoutrements, like this brass tray and teacups I used. Making the tea is like a ceremony, and the process is just as important as the ingredients you add. I've never thought about tea in this way until now. It does feel like mixing a magical elixir together!
Boil your water in a kettle (traditionally its done directly in the silver berrad teapot), and add in your green tea. Let it steep for about 3 minutes. Pour out a small cup full, called the soul. Add in your sugar, and all of the mint. Put it back on the burner for about 3-5 more minutes to infuse it with the mint. Add the soul back into the tea. Now it is ready! Serve your tea with a side of sugar in case you want to add some more. Enjoy!