Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mint Tea Leaves

Mint is one of those herbs that always goes rogue. It's nearly impossible to permanently remove from a garden because the roots are so pervasive. So if you're considering planting it, I suggest planting it in a pot to control spreading. Unless you WANT more mint than you know what to do with.

Once your mint has become the octomom of herbs, here's something you can do with it. Mint tea is a great tummy soother and a wonderful herbal alternative to a caffeinated morning beverage. To make your own tea leaves:

1) Harvest your mint sprigs. Wash thoroughly and let dry for several hours.

2) Put the washed and dried sprigs in an oven at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It will dry without a loss of any oils or fragrance.  

Cooking times vary depending on the type of mint you are using. The mint shown, lemon mint, only took 25 minutes to completely dry into tea leaves. But heartier types of mint, such as spearmint or peppermint, will take longer. 

3) Remove the sprigs from the oven and strip the dried leaves from the branches.

4) Store the dry leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark area. Use a spoonful of crumbled leaves for each cup of tea with a strainer. You can also make your own teabags from muslin. These make a great gift!

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