When the parsley plant died just when I was supposed to use it to garnish a soup dish about a month ago, I sensed it was time for me to learn a bit about gardening. Turo might not always have the time to look after my herbs, and I don’t want them dying on me just when I’m about to use them for a particular recipe. I started by removing the weeds from around the plants. Then I did some pruning. I tried to remember what Turo told me when I accidentally killed the sweet basil because I cut the entire stem and left it without leaves. Never do that again.
I was able to harvest a couple handfuls of mint leaves without killing the entire plant. Whew! I used some fresh mint leaves to make papaya salad but came out too bitter. The mint plants I have must be from a pretty strong variety. I decided to dry them instead as they might be better for making tea.
I’m not a fan of flavored teas but I like mint teas because of the cool feeling you get when you drink them, hot or cold. Studies show that mint leaves have anti-fungal properties that can treat allergy conditions, and can help settle a nervous stomach.
So how do you brew mint tea?
A traditional tea infusion calls for 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herbs for every cup of water. Bring water to a near boil (not boiling) and pour over the herbs inside a teapot. Cover and let steep for 10 to 20 minutes depending on your desired strength. Strain and serve.
For iced mint tea, follow the same procedure but add sugar while allowing the mint to steep. One-fourth to one-third cup of sugar is enough to sweeten an entire pitcher. Once your tea has steeped, add cold water and place inside the fridge until ready to serve. Pour over ice and enjoy.
I haven’t tried making mint tea though. I’m waiting for the leaves to dry out completely so I can measure how long I can store the dried leaves. I also need to look for a suitable material so I can make mint tea bags myself. I’m thinking it would be a nice home made gift.