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Experiment: Mint Tea

My wife and I enjoy drinking tea in the evenings and have quite a comprehensive selection of different types and blends. Both mint and ginger are frequent additions, but, although we use slices of fresh ginger in the pot, thus far we have only had dried mint included in commercially produce teabags. I have been meaning to make a proper mint tea using the fresh variety for some time now and, a few days ago, I bought a small package for just that very purpose…

When I was looking through various recipes for mint tea on the Internet, I discovered that there is a tremendous variety in the amount of fresh leaf that different people recommend. The quantities used varied from just half a dozen leaves or so, to large bunches per pot and, as a result, I was a little unsure what to try.

Ultimately, I settled on a relatively small amount. Since I planned to use my 2 mug French press rather than our regular teapot, I selected 8 or 9 small sprigs, which worked out to about a quarter cup of leaves. I also chose to add a couple of slices of ginger and a scant teaspoon of sugar.

I ‘muddled’ the leaves in my French press along with the sugar…

Then, I added the ginger and boiling water. I let it steep for about 6 or 8 minutes and then served the resultant ‘tea’ garnished with very thin slices of lemon and an extra sprig of the mint.

The Verdict

Well, surprisingly, the amount I used resulted in the same basic mint strength as though I had used a single bag of the dried variety. My wife was very enthusiastic about the flavor and I enjoyed it quite a lot myself, especially with the little hint of lemon. That being said though, I wouldn’t actually say that the fresh is better than the dried. It is different, certainly, but I would be hard pressed to take preference for one over the other. Still, even though the fresh leaf is much more expensive than commercial mint teabags, I will still try it again and see how it might blend with other ingredients…

 

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. During the Victorian days, there were almost as many vendors of “peppermint” water as there were vendors of regular tea on the streets. The Brits considered it quite a treat – it was not drunk hot but rather (probably) at whatever the temperature was at the time of selling. I like adding mint to my tea when brewing it for iced tea.

    August 19, 2012
    • I’ve never heard of that before…. It was also popular to drink the water in which barley was boiled… especially on hot days. Lemon was often added too.

      August 19, 2012
  2. you are like a scientist – am going to try fresh ginger in my tea

    August 19, 2012
  3. Mint tea always brings me back to Morocco– sweet and satisfying– most of the time.

    August 19, 2012
  4. I love drinking tea, almost always using tea bags. My favorite is jasmine green. I’m not a big fan of mint tea, but I’m going to try using fresh mint and your recipe. I’ve got a feeling I might enjoy that more. If you experiment with other ingredients, would like to read how that turns out.

    August 19, 2012
    • I may do another post or two … right now we are having green tea with Goji berry. We also have Rooibos tea with mint and acai berry quite often.

      August 19, 2012
  5. Sounds great! Can’t wait to try. I love tea and have lots of fresh mint.

    August 19, 2012
  6. Good for the digestion … very nice with chamomile too!

    August 19, 2012
    • I’m going to try this for digestion. My tummy always feels sad in the summer 😦

      August 21, 2012
  7. Have you ever added fresh mint to a fresh fruit salad? It adds a whole new dimension.
    Mint tea has to be of my favourites. Am surprised you did not notice any difference 😦

    August 19, 2012
    • I’ll try that with the fruit salad…. I bet it works nicely!

      August 19, 2012
      • MAgic! Have you tried adding chopped mint leaves to green salad?

        August 19, 2012
      • Never tried that either … my experience with mint is primarily with lamb. As a sauce or stuffed into incisions in the meat…. Oh, actually I mix it with cucumber dressing as a sauce for souvlaki too…

        August 19, 2012
  8. My experience has been that the quality of the mint, and what time of day it is picked, dramatically affects the flavor and hence, amount to use in a recipe. With fresh mint, I bruise it between my fingers to get a sense of the amount of oils in it. It is such a great flavor, especially with lemon and ginger!

    August 19, 2012
    • So far, we are limited to whatever quality remains after the transportation North. My wife is going to try growing some indoors.

      August 19, 2012
      • It is so neat to grow your own. We are lucky to have a rosemary bush doing quite well this year despite our drought. Even when you grow your own, there can be a huge range of oils produced by the plant. I do an informal “test” to get a sense of the strength. I have mint and ginger in the cupboard — You’ve inspired me to go make a cup!

        August 19, 2012
  9. John, you might be interested in my ginger brew:
    http://meatfiregood.com/2012/07/10/paisanos-amazing-ginger-ale/

    August 19, 2012
  10. porcelaindollforever #

    You must try Moroccan mint for a really pleasant mint tea- I buy Moroccan mint leaves from Jing Tea (along with lots of other amazing stuff, silver needle is one of my favourites)

    You only need a few leaves and you can brew two pots from it, definitely worth a go!

    August 20, 2012
    • I’ll pass that on to my wife for her next tea order… I’ve heard of silver needles somewhere but I’m not sure what it is… Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

      August 20, 2012
      • porcelaindollforever #

        No problem!
        Silver needle is a white tea, it’s very delicate and has a slight touch of melon and cucumber flavours. I drink this most days whilst at work, or Japanese supreme sencha.

        August 20, 2012
  11. I love white tea … and we have none in the house right now. I’ll make sure to select the silver needle for our next purchase. My wife is on her monthlies as of last night so we are drinking Raspberry leaf and Valerian for the medicinal effect and peppermint, honey and lemon for added enjoyment!

    August 20, 2012
  12. I really enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing about the proportions you used. I experimented some this summer with chocolate mint that came in my weekly produce box. I think based upon your conclusions that I probably used more mint leaves than I needed. I loved it iced, and immediately went out and bought more mint to plant in the garden. I hadn’t thought about the French press…I will now. I found my summer beverage rather addicting. I hope you can’t overdo mint! 🙂 Debra

    August 21, 2012
    • I’m going to try it iced too. I don’t think you can overdo it in terms of one or two drinks… the taste would be just too strong. I really can’t see there woud be a problem with just a little every few days or so.

      August 21, 2012
  13. hi thanks for visiting my blog, now my turn, since you love tea, I want to share my favourite tea, it’s ginger tea, you just boil ginger with a bit of palm sugar, and add a slice of lime plus one kaffir lime ‘s leaf. 🙂

    August 21, 2012
    • I have had ginger tea with lemon …. but the palm sugar and kaffir lime leaf sounds good. I don’t have kaffir lime at the moment but I have had it before and I know ehere to get it 🙂

      August 21, 2012
  14. Your tea looks wonderful. My go-to tea throughout the summer is iced tea. I take 3-4 stems (6″ or more long) bruise it a bit and throw it in the pot to steep along with my tea. After steeping, I take everything out and allow it to cool, then store in refrigerator. It is a great way to use mint and adds a hint of flavor to the iced tea and is very refreshing. I grow mine in pots, (up to 5 pots now.) It is easy to grow and easy to start if you take clippings from a friend (roots easily in water, the plant.) Grows well in the ground too, but can be invasive. My mom has HUGE patches in the ground in Minnesota and it comes back in force every spring. I prefer mine in pots so I can control it.

    Also, Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    August 22, 2012
    • I just bought some fresh sprigs yesterday … I will try rooting it. Thanx for the idea!!

      August 22, 2012
  15. That’s funny! Exactly this combination I’ve had in mind to try since a few days. Because I drink fresh ginger tea and have fresh mint in my fridge.

    August 27, 2012

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