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Tea with Nana (Mint Tea)

Jamie Stolper

This simple beverage was my favorite while I was in Israel recently (April 2007).  It was served to me in private homes and was also on the menu in small coffee shops and fancy restaurants.  It is sweet and soothing and I understand the mint (called nana) helps Israelis to overcome the effects of the heat during the summer months.  You must use fresh spearmint leaves – which many Israelis grow in their own gardens – and a relatively plain tea.  The tea of choice of Israelis is regular Wissotsky's orange pekoe tea, but I have also seen nana used in green tea.  You can brew the whole mixture in a teapot, but it so much more beautiful to place the mint leaves in individual glass mugs and pour the tea over it.  The sight of the bright green leaves in the golden tea, the heady aroma of the mint as you raise the mug to your lips, and the warm, sweet tea as it goes down the throat combines for a simple, yet luxurious, beverage for any occasion.  This tea got me through a bout of bronchitis recently, but more importantly, it will forever remind me of the hospitality of my Israeli hosts.. 

Per Serving:
8 ounces brewed tea, using regular or decaf orange pekoe or green tea
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh spearmint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or equivalent in artificial sweetener (or to taste)


Place the spearmint leaves in the bottom of a glass mug.  Add the sugar or artificial sweetener.  Pour the hot brewed tea in the mug, stir gently, and let sit a minute to steep before indulging.  Mmmmm!

Jamie Stolper is the Food Editor of ShalomBoston.com.

Tea with Nana (Mint Tea)


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