Friday, 11 November 2011

The Art of Mint Tea

Magic Mint TeaI love tea. It's a detail that everyone should know about me. I like tea when I'm happy, tea when I'm sad... I drink tea when I read, tea when I write, when I'm getting ready for bed at night...

Sorry, I think you get the idea. :)

One of my favorites, and there are many, is mint tea. It is a tea that is misunderstood and understated, but can be one of the finest things you can possibly drink. There are many varieties of mint, but my personal preference, because it is awesome, is peppermint.

First of all, there are a few things that you should know about mint tea!

Mint tea is a million times better when you use loose tea, none of this old squished mint leaves in a bag for me, no thank you. Not only is it more fresh, but you can really control the flavor that you get from your mint.

Now, you may have had mint in the past and didn't really care for the aftertaste, or some aspect of the flavor. Chances are this was because it wasn't made the way that mint tea is supposed to be made.

You see, the last thing that you want to do is to pour boiling water over your mint leaves. Worst plan ever. You have a few options; you can either bring your water to a boil, let it sit for a a few minutes, and then make your tea -- or you can pour your water into your cup, and THEN add your tea. I usually go with the latter method as then I don't have to stand there waiting for the water to cool. (It cools much faster when it is poured into a cool, and smaller container.)

The second thing that you really don't want to do is to steep your mint leaves for too long. If it's not strong enough, add more leaves next time!

Before you tell me that you don't like the idea of using 'more' mint leaves, as that is just a waste of your hard earned resources, let me tell you about the mint that I use. (Best mint ever by the way.)

I get my organic (of course) mint from Mountain Rose Herbs, the most fabulous 'herby' company out there. I don't get the mint tea, I buy the straight up peppermint leaves. (You can also get spearmint, though it's definitely not my personal preference.)

The peppermint leaves are currently $9.50 for a lb. One pound might not sound like a lot, but it came in a bag that has got to be about 11" tall and 6+" wide. If I could find my darn measuring tape I'd let you know a little more precisely. Regardless, the bag was huge and under $10. Me, the tea addict, has been avidly drinking it for over a year and I've used probably a third of the bag. The bag is resealable, and the leaves are still fresh and smell amaaaazing every time I open it!

Check out the Bulk Spices and Herbs section: Peppermint is under the P's!

If you like tea, you must try this stuff. It's amazing.

Now that I've educated you on how to make it, I'd like to share a couple of other tidbits!

Mint tea is good for the stomach, so it will sit well with people who have problems like heartburn, and it will also help soothe an irritated stomach.

The mint tea is amazing cold - and in my opinion best sweetened with honey. Though of course it is delicious without any sweetener at all.

You can make a nice cup of cocoa, (with organic cocoa powder which you can also get from Mountain Rose Herbs) and add your tea bag or tea strainer or whatever you use, right to the cup! As long as you don't steep it for too long you'll have a delicious minty hot chocolate. Mmmmm.

You can also toss in a little fresh ginger with your mint tea, even better for the stomach and it tastes amazing!

I hope you liked today's post, and if you're a tea drinker, let me know how you like your tea!

See you Monday!

Tea photo via Will Simpson

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