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The perfect cup of tea around the globe

By: Angela Nelson on Feb. 1, 2017, 7:32 a.m.
Moroccan teapot and teacups

Photo: picturepartners/Shutterstock

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There is no English word strong enough to describe how offensive it would be for someone in Morocco to not offer tea to someone entering their home, the Washington Post reports. "You must,” one local man insisted to a Post reporter. “It is in the blood. It’s in the culture.”

Moroccan tea, which originated in northwest Africa but soon spread to the rest of the Arab world, is unique for its use of fresh herbs and the elaborate way in which it's poured.

How to make a proper cup: Boil water in a kettle and pour 1/4 cup of water into a clean teapot. Swish around to warm the pot. Moroccan tea starts with loose-leaf Chinese gunpowder green tea — add 1 teaspoon for every 6 ounces of hot water. Then add another 3/4 cup of water and swirl it around again to activate the tea leaves.

Let it steep briefly, about 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Swirl the pot again and pour out the water, making sure to strain the leaves so they stay in the pot. Next add a handful of mint leaves to the tea leaves and a few scoops of sugar (cane sugar is best). Fill the pot with more boiling water and let steep about 5 minutes.

Here's where the elaborate pouring ritual begins: Pour a glass of tea, then pour it back into the pot. Repeat a few more times to dissolve the sugar. When you pour the tea into individual cups, lift the teapot up high and pour from a distance with panache. And never fill to the brim.