The Mint of Madina
In Madina mint means a lot more than a flavor for toothpaste or a herb to be added into food. Madina’s mint is famous around Saudi Arabia. Mint in Saudi is mainly used to make fragrant mint tea often served, with a copious amount of sugar, after a heavy meal. A dinner invite is not complete until the host has poured the mint tea, served in small intricately decorated glass cups, a sprig or two of mint is often left in the cup.
There are two types of mint available for purchase in Madina; Hasawi mint also known as Madany Mint and Maghrebiy mint. Hasawi mint is peppermint and Maghrebiy mint is spearmint. The famous mint of Madina is indeed the fragrant Hasawi/Madaniy Mint. This mint is not available anywhere else in Saudi.
Madaniy mint is sold in produce shops all around Madina but most noticeably it is sold by vendors on the sides of the roads exiting Madina. Leaving Madina with armfuls of mint is not an unusual occurrence for its local visitors. In fact, it's almost an expectation for family members around the country to receive a bunch of the famous Madaniy Mint as a gift from Madina.
Mint tea is made using either green or red tea. Boiling water is poured over the teabag and the mint is rinsed and placed in the teapot, sugar is added to taste, in Saudi this is often a very sweet taste!
Although it would be trickier for long-distance travelers to take fresh Madany mint home with them, dried Madany mint is available for purchase. A must for any visitors who wish to take the fragrance of Madina home with them.