Ever since enjoying a post North African dinner glass of mint tea at Bonbon Oiseau's house last year, I had promised myself to buy a bagful of the dried mint leaves at Sahadi's, above. I remembered endless glasses of tea in Istanbul, brought on swinging trays, with small sugar cubes and tiny spoons. Somehow I'd never thought to recreate it in New York.
After carrying loads of strange teas (mint, and the South African rooibos and honeybush, found at Wholefoods and Sahadi's, and increasingly common) to the poor non-tea drinking denizens of Bellini Street in Beloeil, I bought my own bagful at last. It's lovely stuff, and must be drunk out of a glass, for me. Like beer. I don't taste beer from a bottle, somehow. I like to see it. Half the pleasure is in the beholding.
I stuff a handful of the crumbly, fragrant leaves into a teapot, pour on boiling water, cosy the pot for about 3 minutes and then pour the green-brown tea into a strong glass with a spoonful of sugar.