I have mint growing in my yard and would like to know how to make tea with it. Do I dry the mint first and if so how do I do that? Also, should it be used full strength or mixed with regular tea?
Donna from Dayton Ohio
I don't think you need to dry the leaves first. Experiment with dropping a few leaves into hot/boiling water, steeping for 5-15 minutes and seeing how many leaves and how many minutes it took to steep before you liked it. Try bruising them first, chopping them, putting them in whole. The worst that happens is you don't like that batch and try a different way!
You could try hanging it in small bunches upside down to air dry. It's worth a try anyways, to see if it tastes different than fresh.
When we in Morocco, we drank mint tea every day. They just took a generous bunch of tea leaves (stems included) and put them in a teapot to be steeped in boiling water. Served sweet, it was delicious and refreshing, even in the desert climate!
I prefer my mint tea made by steeping fresh leaves and stems. I have dried the leaves and stems for winter use but they tend to be stronger the longer they dry so fewer are needed to make tea. Dried leaves still taste minty but somehow different. I suggest you try both ways.
If you do decide to dry the mint leaves in hanging bunches, I would enclose in a paper bag tied loosely around the stems with twine as leaves will drop when they dry out. The bag catches them. I usually mix the dried mint with green or regular tea leaves and use a tea ball to hold them in the pot. If you use mint alone, either fresh or dried, be sure to let it steep longer for best flavour.
While growing up we had several varieties of mint plants in our yard (spearmint, lemon mint, chocolate mint) which we would chew on in addition to using it for tea. It was best when picked fresh, but it would also keep in the refridgerator for a few days and in the freezer a few weeks (air tight container). My grandmother would use a strainer to keep the leaves seperate and boiled the mixture on the stove, adding generous amounts of sugar. She liked her tea hot, but kept pitchers of tea in the fridge for those of us who preferred it cold. It kept well for 2-3 days.
We used to mash the leaves and stems with a spoon in a small bowl, add sugar and then add the whole mess to a pitcher of iced tea or a pot of hot tea. We'd put a small strainer over the glass or cup to catch the foliage. It was fun, it smelled wonderful and it tasted great. Thanks for the memories.
Many thanks for all the tips and info. This has encouraged me to buy a variety mint plants. I did not know that there are so many different kinds ! I can see it now....an endless supply of wonderful teas !!
I put a bunch of leaves--maybe a cup full into a large stainless steel pot (3 or 4 qt. size) and add water about half full. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 15 minutes and strain. Add sugar as desired. If you like a stronger tea, let sit longer or add more leaves when boiling. Leaves are best if picked early in the morning before the sun dries the dew off the plants. Good served hot or chilled.
A friend gave me this recipe. Using fresh mint, hers was spearmint. Take 6 new leaves from the top of the plant, take 2 cups of cold water ,bring to boil,add the leaves and simmer for a minute or two remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of orange juice and honey to taste. Strain into pretty tea cups or mugs .Makes two servings. YUM
You can use less dried mint, about 1 teaspoon or to taste. Dry the larger leaves. Peppermint is good for upset tummys too.
I have very much enjoyed the discussion about making fresh mint tea, hot and iced. I would like some feedback on whether or not to include the stems with the leaves when cooking off a pot of fresh mint, or to remove the leaves from the stems and use just the leaves.
If you like making sun tea, add 3-4 leaves per cup to your tea bags and water and let steep until done.
"Bruise" the leaves first by rolling them between your fingers to help release the mint flavor. You can also make mint sun tea by adding the leaves to plain cold water after bruising them, and let steep until done. My favorite flavor combo is mint green tea.
I have several mint plants and I dried the leaves, can I still make tea with it ? And also does anyone know how to make tea bags with the Mint?
I have made mint tea by putting leaves and stems into boiling water and letting it steep for 15 min. But after it cools there is a white sediment on the bottom of the pan. I have done this many times, and always have the same result. Does anyone know why this happens?
I just made a cup of tea using boiling water, a Lipton tea bag, and two peppermint leaves that I bruised by rolling between my fingers. I enjoyed it and didn't even mind that I swallowed the mint in my first few sips. To strain or not strain, that is the question.
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