Moroccans consume a lot of green tea. In 2018, Morocco imported a quarter of the tea exported by China. A tradition rooted in the mores of society for a little over a century and a half.
Can we do without mint tea? The question no longer arises for the overwhelming majority of Moroccans, young and old, women and men, because the answer is known in advance: no! Moroccans consumed a quarter of the Chinese tea exported in 2018. In figures, some 77,562 tons, or nearly a quarter of China’s total exports of this commodity, were imported. This places Morocco as a privileged customer of China, but also as a gateway to North Africa and West of many Chinese companies.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), an English-language daily newspaper published in Hong Kong since 1903, Morocco currently has 5 packaging lines of the Chinese company Jinli Tea, the only one of its kind on the market in the area of the North Africa. This company currently has a production capacity of 3,000 tons of tea annually, and totals 8.2 million dollars (79 million dirhams) of investments in the Kingdom since 2015.
A popular drink
The consumption of tea is an essential tradition in the daily life of Moroccans. Serve green tea to a guest is a sign of friendliness and a way to welcome him. But how did the tea return to the customs and traditions of Moroccans? Few people know how and why tea arrived in Morocco, a country that does not produce it. Historically, tea appeared in China almost 5,000 years ago. Initially the preserve of noble or royal families, the consumption of tea has become widespread throughout the world over the centuries. Tea broke into the lives of Moroccans during the second half of the 19th century, during the Crimean War between 1853 and 1856 the Russian Empire to a coalition of the Ottoman Empire, France, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Sardinia.
During the conflict, access to Slavic countries was forbidden to English merchants. The latter were forced to seek new outlets for their tea business, which they held a monopoly on a global scale. It was then that Morocco emerged as the favorite target as its ports are close to Gibraltar. In a short time, tea became a popular drink.
The peculiarity in Morocco is that, unlike the vast majority of Arab countries, which use black tea, Morocco consumes green tea which is more flavored, most often with mint, or other medicinal plants. The place that this drink occupies in the lives of Moroccans and their diet fuels the curiosity of foreign tourists who, once on Moroccan soil, ask to drink tea. Moroccan tea, of course!