Teatime: Moroccan Tea vs American Southern Sweet Tea

Comparing Moroccan Tea and American Southern Sweet Tea. 

Everyone loves tea. Moroccan tea is a traditional beverage in Morocco and North African countries and Sweet Tea in the southern states is a beloved traditional beverage. Moroccan mint tea and Southern sweet tea are both sweetened teas brewed with tea leaves. Moroccan mint tea is typically brewed with green tea leaves and spearmint leaves, while Southern sweet tea is often brewed with just white sugar.
 
Everyone loves tea

Making Moroccan Mint Tea.

While making Moroccan mint tea, pouring the tea from a height creates a layer of froth on top of the tea, which is considered to be a sign of quality and hospitality in Morocco. The froth is also said to add to the flavor of the tea, so pouring the tea from a height aerates the tea, which releases more of the tea's flavor. 
Morocco tea

Also, pouring the tea from a height is a visually appealing way to serve tea. It is also a way to show off the skill of the tea pourer. The traditional mint used in Moroccan mint tea is spearmint, also known as Nana mint. This mint variety brings a strong flavor and delicate sweetness. 

If you can't find spearmint in your local store, no worries, you can use other mint varieties and your Moroccan mint tea will still be delicious. Just keep in mind that the flavor and sweetness of the tea will vary depending on the type of mint you use. 

Moroccan mint tea is typically served in small glasses called atayin. Atayin glasses are small, clear glasses that are typically made of glass or ceramic. They are often ribbed on the outside, which helps to prevent the glasses from getting too hot when the tea is poured in. Atayin glasses are typically used to serve Moroccan mint tea, but they can also be used to serve other types of tea, such as green tea, black tea or Southern Sweet Tea. 

Morocco tea

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe Ingredients and Directions.

Ingredients.

5 fresh spearmint mint sprigs
2 teaspoons loose green tea leaves
1 cup boiling water
Sugar or honey to taste 

Directions.

In a pot that has a tea diffuser add loose green tea. Pour water over the green tea leaves. Wait for the green tea to infuse turning a beautiful light yellow, the time depends on your taste, longer brews for a richer taste, shorter for a lighter taste. Rinse the mint sprigs and pat them dry and add to the tea. Steep 5 minutes longer. Strain the tea into a cup. Add sugar or honey. Use a traditional Moroccan teapot with a long spout and pour the tea from a height into the Atayin glasses. Serve hot.

Making the American Southern Sweet Tea.

When making Southern Sweet Tea, sugar matters. The more sugar the better. In the United States, particularly in the southern states, sweet tea is a beloved beverage with its history dating back to the introduction of tea in the American colonies. Southern sweet tea is more than just a drink, it is a symbol of Southern hospitality and culture.

Sweet tea

The tradition of sweet tea as we know it today began to take shape in the 19th century. In the early 1800s, black tea became more affordable and readily available in the southern states. At the same time, advancements in refrigeration technology made it possible for ice to be produced and stored, making iced beverages more accessible.

Sweet tea gained popularity as a refreshing and thirst-quenching beverage, particularly in the hot summer months. It became an integral part of southern cuisine and culture, with recipes and preparation methods passed down through generations. Sweet tea was commonly served at social gatherings, picnics, and family meals, and it became a symbol of hospitality and southern hospitality.

The basic recipe for sweet tea involves brewing a strong pot of black tea, sweetening it with sugar while it's still hot, and then diluting it with cold water or pouring it over a glass filled with ice. The amount of sugar added can vary depending on personal preference, but sweet tea is generally known for its distinctly sweet taste.

Over time, variations of sweet tea have emerged, incorporating flavors such as lemon, mint, or fruit syrups. Some variations also include a combination of black and green tea for a milder flavor. However, the classic southern sweet tea remains a beloved beverage that continues to be cherished and enjoyed throughout the region.
Sweet tea

Recipe for American Southern Sweet Tea.

Ingredients.

5 cups of water
4 Lipton black tea bags 
1 to 2 cups of granulated sugar (adjust according to your preference)
Ice cubes
Lemon slices (optional)
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan or kettle. Once the water boils, remove it from the heat and add the tea bags. Let them steep for about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them. Add sugar to the hot tea and stir until it dissolves completely. You can adjust the amount of sugar based on your desired level of sweetness.

Pour the sweetened tea into a pitcher and add 4 cups of cold water to dilute it. Stir well to combine the hot tea and cold water. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and let the sweet tea chill for at least an hour. When ready to serve, fill glasses with ice cubes and pour the sweet tea over the ice. Garnish with lemon slices or fresh mint leaves, if desired.

Southern sweet tea is traditionally served in a tall glass, such as a highball or Collins glass. These glasses are typically around 10 to 14 ounces in size and are perfect for holding a generous portion of sweet tea along with ice cubes. But, honestly any cup or glass will do when it's hot outside and you need a glass of ice cold Southern Sweet Tea.

In addition to the glassware, sweet tea is often served with a straw for sipping, especially when filled with ice. The straw allows you to easily enjoy the chilled tea without disturbing the ice too much.

Tea and cake

Both Moroccan mint tea and Southern sweet tea are refreshing, sweetened teas that are enjoyed as a beverage and served with desserts, bread or snacks.

Tea can be enjoyed on its own, but it is often served with accompaniments that complement its flavors and enhance the overall tea-drinking experience. Classic choices include shortbread, tea biscuits, pastries like petits fours, macarons, ├ęclairs or butter cookies. Also, sandwiches with various fillings, such as cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, or egg salad, are commonly served. Moreover, crispy fried chicken can be served alongside sweet tea for a satisfying combination of savory and sweet flavors. Ultimately, the choice of what to serve with tea depends on personal preferences, the occasion, and the type of tea being served. Please leave a comment on your favorite type of tea or coffee if you prefer.

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