(Semi) Sun-steeped Moroccan Mint Iced Tea
One of my favorite spots to eat in Northampton (the wonderful and strange place I spend eight months of the year in) is a little Moroccan restaurant on Main Street, Amanouz Café. I seriously can’t describe to you how delicious everything here is, it just is perfect. Plus, I’m 96% sure you can’t spend more than $11 on a meal. Which is AWESOME for those like myself who are -whether they actually attend school or not- living on the budget of a college student. As slammin’ as the food is, the thing that I love the most there is the Moroccan Tea, iced or hot. It’s an incredibly lovely combination of green tea, mint, sweetness, and magic. I don’t know how they make it. But I drink enough of it that I think I may have partially cracked the code. This batch came out a little milder in flavor than I was expecting because I was nervous about it being too strong so I went ahead and added the cold water pretty early on AND these were my last packets of green tea AND I didn’t want to change out of my pajamas (is anyone else sensing a pattern about how I make things w/r/t my laziness in leaving the house?) Next time I’d steep it for longer, perhaps ten minutes instead of six?
Also, a note on sun-steeped tea: for those who’ve never heard of it, sun-steeped tea is tea brewed by being left to steep in sunlight (be it on a sunny windowsill or directly outside). Pretty self-explanatory. I did a little research on this process before trying it, and apparently the internet (and the Center for Diseases Control) believes there to be certain risks to this practice in terms of bacteria developing in the hours it takes to brew tea by light. So, naturally, because I am the world’s biggest hypochondriac I decided against the full sun method and went for a little hybrid. However, this is not to say you shouldn’t go for the real thing, which I will explain in the recipe below. I fully think you’ll be fine. Just make sure you use a clean jar, filtered water, and refrigerate it immediately after brewing.
– 3 bags of green tea
– 1 bag of mint tea
– 1/4-1/3 cup honey
– several springs of fresh mint
Boiling water method: Boil 2 cups of water. In a heat-safe pitcher combine the tea with the water and honey. Muddle mint leaves into the pitcher and steep for 6-10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Fill the jar with cold water and refrigerate. Serve over ice.
Refrigerator method: Fill a pitcher with a quart of cold water. Add tea bags, muddled mint, and honey. Refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight. Serve over ice.
Semi sun-steeped method: Boil 2 cups of water. In a heat-safe pitcher combine the tea with the water and honey. Muddle mint leaves into the pitcher and steep for 6-10 minutes. Fill the jar with cold water and place on a sunny windowsill for 15 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Leave on windowsill for another 15 minutes and then place in refrigerator. Serve over ice.
Fully sun-steeped method: Wash pitcher thoroughly. Follow the semi sun-steeped recipe using filtered water from the tap instead of boiling. Leave the tea in the sun for no more than three hours. Place in refrigerator. Serve over ice.