Maghrebi mint tea, also known as Moroccan, Touareg and Sahrawi mint tea, is a green tea prepared with mint leaves and sugar, traditional to the Greater Maghreb region. It has since spread throughout North Africa, parts of the Sahel, and the Arab world.
Mint tea is central to social life in the Maghreb. The serving can take a ceremonial form, especially when prepared for a guest. The tea is traditionally offered to guests as a sign of hospitality. Typically, at least three glasses of tea are served, and it is considered impolite to refuse it.
The tea is consumed throughout the day as a social activity, with tea bars filling a similar social function to alcohol drinking establishments in Europe and North America.
The main supplier of tea to the Maghreb remains China.
Traditionally, the tea is served three times. The amount of time it has been steeping gives each of the glasses of tea a unique flavor, described in this famous Maghrebi proverb:
“The first glass is as gentle as life,
the second is as strong as love,
the third is as bitter as death.”