First, STOP BUYING READY-MADE ICE TEA! You can easily make your own brew for less then 4 cents a glass! Refreshing, reviving, chocked full of antioxidants, and good for you. I suggest avoiding artificial sugars, but if you must...try Stivia extract, a natural sweetener made from the Stevia plant. Cane or turbinado sugar, honey, or concentrated fruit juices are great subtle sweetners to experiment with as well.
Here's a great treat to keep you cool on those hot, summer afternoons.
Moroccan Mint Tea
- 2 tablespoon Green Tea leaves
- 1 large handful fresh spearmint leaves, washed
- 1 liter (about 4 cups) boiling water
- 1/4 cup sugar
Boil at least a liter of water. Rinse a small tea pot with about 1/4 cup of the water.
Add the tea leaves and another 1/4 cup boiling water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the leaves, and pour out the water.
Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water. Leave the tea to steep 5-10 minutes...depending on taste. Ideally, set the tea pot over medium-low heat and bring the tea to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow to steep several minutes more. The tea should be on the strong side...poured over ice to dilute.
Gently stir the tea, pour into small tea glasses and serve ice cold.
Of course...Moroccan Tea isn't complete with a tasty, traditional accompaniment! This recipe is for Fekkas, a Moroccan Tea Biscuit much like biscotti; flavored with almonds, sesame, anise, and orange-blossom water. Mmmmm.
Buy All Natural Moroccan Mint Tea From The Farm!
Active time:20 min
Start to finish:3 hr (includes chilling and cooling)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons orange-flower water
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and cooled, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
Stir together sugar, butter, almonds, orange-flower water, anise seeds, extracts, and 1/4 cup sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add eggs and stir until well combined. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined. Chill dough, covered, 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (11- by 3-inch) loaves on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with enough egg wash to coat, then sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sesame seeds.
Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Loosen from baking sheet with a spatula, then transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes. (Leave oven on.)
Cut warm loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife and arrange biscuits, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Recipe by Maggie Ruggiero
Photograph by Stephanie Foley