Atay Bi Nana Moroccan Mint Tea

Atay Bi Nana Moroccan Mint Tea

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Yield: 1 pot of tea
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
55 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 55
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 65mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Iconic, syrupy sweet Moroccan mint tea is made by steeping green tea with a generous handful of spearmint leaves—sometimes also made with other types of mint or herbs—and traditionally served in small glass cups. Although there is no agreement on when tea was introduced to Morocco, drinking tea is engraved in the local culture and a day won't pass in which you wouldn't drink, be offered, or offer a cup of this wonderful warming and calming beverage. Many families serve tea more than once a day and Moroccan hospitality dictates that one must always offer mint tea to both drop-ins and expected guests. 

Moroccan teapots vary in size, but a small pot typically holds about six small tea glasses, while a larger pot holds approximately 12 small glasses. The ratios below are for a small pot of tea and are approximate since tea leaves vary in quality and strength. Look for Chinese gunpowder tea, a type of tea in which the leaves are rolled in little pellets that resemble gunpowder, and whose flavor in best to make a classic Moroccan mint tea.

Although usually enjoyed on its own, Moroccan mint tea can be accompanied by a plate of patisseries and sweets.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon gunpowder green tea leaves

  • 1 large handful fresh spearmint leaves (washed)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Atay Bi Nana Moroccan Mint Tea ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium-size pot, bring the water to a full boil.

    water in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Swirl a little of the boiling water, about 1/4 cup, in your teapot to rinse it. Discard the water.

    holding a glass teapot with hands

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the gunpowder green tea to the teapot, then pour a few tablespoons of boiling water over the leaves. Allow the leaves to soak briefly, then swirl the pot to rinse the leaves and discard the water.

    Add the gunpowder green tea to the teapot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the mint leaves and sugar and fill the pot with about 2 cups boiling water. Leave the tea to steep for at least five minutes.

    add mint leaves and sugar to the tea in the pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Gently stir the tea and serve.

    Atay Bi Nana Moroccan Mint Tea

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

The Perfect Moroccan Mint Tea

Here are a few suggestions for a perfect cup of Moroccan mint tea:

  • Moroccan teapots have built-in strainers, but if using another type of pot, you'll need to use a small strainer when pouring the tea. Also, if your teapot is stove safe, steep the tea over medium-low heat just until it reaches a simmer. Watch carefully. If the tea reaches a full boil, the top can foam excessively and spill over the pot onto the stove.
  • Moroccan tea is traditionally poured from a forearm's height over the glass; this allows for the creation of a desirable foamy "head" on the glass of tea.
  • A small sprig of mint can be added to each glass for a more intense mint flavor. In fact, some Moroccans prefer to add the mint leaves after the tea has steeped.
  • Instead of stirring, the sugar may be mixed into the tea by pouring tea into a glass and then returning the tea to the pot, repeating this process several times.

Recipe Variations

  • Do adjust sugar to your personal taste. The recipe reflects the fact that most Moroccans like their tea exceptionally sweet. This is changing a bit due to dietary restrictions and increased awareness of health issues related to high sugar intake, so it is becoming common to see two teapots on a serving tray—one traditionally sweet, the other lightly sweetened or not at all. Guests choose from either pot or request a glass comprising a mix of the two.   
  • Although fresh mint leaves are preferred in Morocco, you can substitute dried spearmint leaves (about a tablespoon) when fresh mint is unavailable.
  • The recipe's directions simplify the steeping process; but there is a more traditional way to make this tea.