Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rockin' the Moroccan Mint : Boston Tea Co

I openly admit I'm not a big fan of Gunpowder Green tea. I've tried the pure forms via reputable vendors and I can't get past the notes of copper that tend to linger in some of the varities. It's just a preference.

So it's taken me a while to get on board the Moroccan Mint train, though I've read lovely things from fans of the blend. But in planning my fall tea purchases, I thought I'd give Boston Tea Company's version a try, notably because it's blended with spearmint. Another quirk of mine is that I prefer spearmint to peppermint, so I told myself that this might work.

And work it did indeed! It is a true Gunpowder Pingshui Green, not as tightly rolled as the Numi Organic brand I've previously tried. They say that the smaller or more tightly the leaves are rolled, the higher the quality is supposed to be, but I don't know that I detect a real difference here. The spearmint is either masking the aftertaste I otherwise had been avoiding or perhaps this grade is a different quality than the others I've steeped before and more gently processed. The yellow liqueur is a distinctive dark yellow, which hints at the copper business I mentioned earlier. Darker, smokier, more exotic than your average green tea.

I really enjoyed this blend this week as the weather started to get more seasonable, meaning c-o-l-d! It's not as piquant or syrupy-sweet as a peppermint tea, and I think it will be making a permanent stay in my cupboard as a soother. Coincidence that the tin is copper-colored? Perhaps, or perhaps not.

I'm also intrigued by what I've been reading about Moroccan Mint tea as a process, an event, a cultural phenomenon. Perhaps there'll be room to explore the Morrocan tea ritual in a future post?



  1. Mmmm, that sounds delicious.

    I don't call your preference for spearmint a quirk. I'd much rather have that than peppermint.

  2. I really like blends containing spearmint better than ones containing peppermint. Peppermint is a very dominating aroma, and I find it easily overpowers green tea, whereas spearmint blends with it.

    Also, from my research, spearmint is closer to the "authentic" mint to use in Moroccan mint tea. Although, I think to get super authentic, you'd want to use the mint we call apple mint or woolly mint, Mentha suaveolens, native to the Mediterranean region. I don't know why that variety of mint isn't as used in commercial blends; it's much easier to grow than spearmint (which isn't exactly hard to grow), and it grows taller and has a higher yield, and from my experience, tends to be more drought tolerant as well.

  3. Thanks for the tip on the mint variety Zach! It might be worth seeing if one of my local co-ops has the mediterranean version available.