Touareg tea, also called Tuareg tea, Mint tea or Moroccan mint tea is a flavoured tea prepared in northern Africa and in Arabian countries. Mint tea (in Arabic, شاي بالنعناع, shāy bil n'anā', or more commonly, in dialect, الأتاي, at tay) is central to social life in Maghreb countries. The serving of mint tea can take a ceremonial form, especially when prepared for a guest. Whereas cooking is women's business, the tea is a male affair: the head of family prepares it and serves to the guest, usually, at least three glasses of tea.
Preparation is a rather complex and long procedure, and takes green tea (usually strong Chinese tea, e.g. gunpowder, chun mee, or zhu cha), fresh mint leaves in large quantity, and a lot of sugar (approximately five teaspoons of sugar for one teaspoon of tea leaves). The tea is first put in the teapot and a small quantity of boiling water is added, the tea is left to infuse for a short time (approximately 20–30 seconds), this initial liquid is poured out and kept aside. This is the "spirit" of the tea and will be added back after the tea is washed, in order to restore the "spirit" to the tea (the "spirit" of the tea is essentially a strong, deeply flavoured liquid from the initial infusion, which adds extra flavour to the final infusion). The tea is then "cleaned" by adding a small quantity of boiling water, that is poured out after one minute (this lessens the bitterness of the tea), this process may be repeated more than once. Mint and sugar are added, and water at the boiling point is then poured in the pot, the pot may then be taken to heat and further boiled to increase the flavour of the infusion. After three to five minutes, a glass is served and poured back in the pot two to three times, in order to mix the tea. Tea is then tasted (sugar if needed may be added) until the infusion is fully developed. Tea is poured into glasses from height in order to swirl loose tea leaves to the bottom of the glass, whilst gently aerating the tea to improve its flavour.