OK, I admit it: I'm tired, I'm grouchy, I had a bad day at work. I don't really feel like eating, much less cooking. Or even writing. But I am, right now, as we speak, taking part in one of my favorite "healing" rituals -- Moroccan Mint Tea. I am a huge believer in its powers.
I got addicted to Moroccan Mint Tea in Paris (of course. tired of hearing about Paris yet? too bad!). The Paris Mosque and the World Arab Institute both have tea rooms where it's served practically by the gallon. I LOVE to go to the Institute in the middle of the day with a crossword puzzle and have a pot of tea. I LOVE to go to the Mosque late in the evening, sit outside, and have a glass or two. It's such a great way to wind down or chill out.
Moroccan Mint Tea is very simple: gunpowder green tea and mint. At the Institute and the Mosque, it's made with fresh mint. It's traditionally very heavily sweetened -- the glasses are always sticky! It's such a beautiful thing. It's served out of long-spouted brass teapots, poured from about a foot above, into intricately decorated glasses that are only slightly bigger than shot glasses. I'm too lazy tonight to go looking for pictures, but you can find them very easily with a little internet search. You can also find real Moroccan Mint Tea recipes, and actually buy the pots and glasses. I, unfortunately, have not procured any of this equipment yet... but it's all on my mental wish list. Instead, I bought this beautiful tea set at the Grasshopper Shop in Bangor -- a very cool store with lots of gifts, clothes, housewares, and generally neat stuff...
Isn't it beautiful? I love the color, I love the size, I love the shape, I love the feel. It has an amazing texture that can only be described as silky smooth. Yes, I am a tactile person. I can't walk past a marble countertop or polished granite building without touching. But I digress (as I so often do). I also have a much fancier Bodum tea press, which I will show off sometime in the future. This pot holds eight ounces of tea -- enough to fill the little cup twice. I use Republic of Tea's Moroccan Mint Tea, and I sweeten it with Splenda (not so traditional, I know... but if I used real sugar in all the tea I drink, I'd weigh 200 pounds!). We've all heard about the health benefits of green tea, and mint is good for a lot of ailments, too. This tea is crisp, refreshing, relaxing, and low enough in caffeine so that I can drink a couple cups right before I go to bed, and still sleep. It cures what ails me. I just finished my first cup... and now the second one is calling my name!