Fresh Mint Tea

Fresh mint tea is one of the ways I know that yes, spring is here for sure.  Because out of all my brave herbs out there in my kitchen barrel gardens, the mint is always the first one to leaf out, and just like that, winter is gone and summer is just around the corner.  And one the best ways to celebrate (especially on those spring days when there is still a little chill in the air) is a warm, sweet-smelling cup of the easiest tea in the world to make.
 

Now I have to admit, before I figured out the whole fresh mint tea thing, my usual road to mint tea involved one of these.

Or if I was feeling especially energetic, I would find my tea strainer and dig that bag of dried peppermint tea out of the back of the cupboard.

But honestly?  There’s nothing like tea made with a handful of fresh mint.  And almost overnight my fresh mint went from a few brave looking tiny leaves to a whole barrel of this.

Mint is one of those things that the more you pick it, the more it seems to grow, so I dove right in.  Here’s all you do: Take about 4 or five good-sized stalks of mint.  (Stalk might not be the technical term, but you know what I mean.)  Now go find that teapot that I know you have somewhere.  I have one that fits about 4 cups of hot water which is just about perfect.  Fill it up with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes to warm the pot up (this is going to keep your tea warm for longer, which is a wonderful thing).

Now put a kettle of water on and wait until it is boiling merrily away.  Pour the hot water out of your nice warm teapot.  Now take those mint stalks and roll them between your palms a few times.  This is going to release the mint oil in the leaves, and is also going to make your hands smell like summertime.  Pop the mint, stems and all, into your warm teapot, pour the boiling water over them until your teapot is full, and put the top on.

Now comes the hard part…you have to wait for FIVE full minutes to give your mint time to steep.  Five minutes.  Go fold one load of laundry and come back – I know you have one.  By this time you have a pot of delicately light green, gently, deliciously mint-flavored tea.   Take a deep sniff of it before you take that first sip…ahhhhhhh.   I like mine with just a teeny bit of sugar in it, but just plain mint is perfectly wonderful too.

One last little note: if you are lucky enough to have a tea cozy to put over your teapot, this is the time to bring it out.  A good friend of mine made me one (made me one!!) and when I put it on my pot of fresh mint tea, I feel like everything is right with the world.

And with that, it’s tea-time!

 

Fresh Mint Tea
 
Serves: 4 cups of tea
Ingredients
  • 4-5 stalks of fresh mint, with stems
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Sugar or honey, if desired
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. While water is boiling, fill a 4-6 cup teapot to the brim with hot water from the tap, and let it sit until the tea water boils.
  3. When the tea water is boiling, empty the now-warm teapot. Roll the mint between your palms until it is slightly crushed. Place in teapot.
  4. Pour boiling water over the crushed mint, cover the teapot, and let it steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour into your favorite teacup, inhale deeply, and enjoy!

Comments

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  1. says

    Ha! Go fold a load of laundry, you crack me up! Your pictures make me want to forget that laundry and go weed a flower bed. It’s just warm enough to starting gardening here so I have the itch!

    I also want some of this tea to sooth my alergies, thanks for posting!!

  2. ruthie says

    Mint is the most amazing stuff. It’s good you keep it in barrels so it doesn’t take over everything, but it’s wonderful how long one plant can keep going. I’m still finding volunteers of my lemon mint here in the country from plants that started in an herb garden oh, maybe 20 years ago, then got ignored when I moved away. And that really does make me realize that spring is here.

    Hmmm. Lemon mint tea. Once again, you have the right idea at the right time.

    • Kate says

      Yes, it’s definitely hardy stuff…this batch made it through the entire winter because it was so mild. My sage and parsley did too. What troupers!

  3. Trinity says

    I got so excited about this idea that I impatiently went out and bought some sprigs of fresh mint in a small packet at the local HEB for over $2 (never mind that I actually have loose peppermint tea stashed away in a corner of the pantry). My Mom saw and was horrified, scolding me about spending that much money over something we can get somewhere else for 50 cents for double the amount. Then I walked to the very back of our yard and guess what, fresh mint growing all over. Where’s a time machine when you need one? lol

    I still very much enjoyed the fresh mint tea I made (my Mom got a cup!), and I’m now drying the mint from my backyard for making infused honey. Super mint power!

    • Kate says

      I love this story! And now you know that you can make fresh mint tea all summer long by just stepping into the back yard. :) Meantime, infused honey? Heaven!

    • Kate says

      It is! And if you go get even a small pot of it at your local farmer’s market it will be there for you all summer long – mint is very hardy! :)

    • Kate says

      I’d love to! The china is called Portmeirion, and the pattern is Botanic Garden. It’s the pattern I have for all my china, and I also have collected their pretty serving dishes, casseroles…even candlesticks! And obviously teapots – I have that small one and a big one (I’m a big tea drinker!) Here’s a link (I hope) to the main UK website, but I’ve found it in various places here in the US too. :) http://www.portmeirion.co.uk/template-99.php?page=2&current_section=29

        • Kate says

          Hurray! You’ll love them – not only are they pretty, but they can go in the oven and the microwave, and they are very sturdy.

  4. Jane says

    Love this! Your photography has me melting, like sinking into a warm bubble bath. I had to laugh when you said to fold laundry – that you know I have one. I’m sitting here drinking in your beautiful write-up while waiting for my first effort of fresh mint tea to steep, and sure enough – there’s a basket of laundry behind me that I’ve been procrastinating. Ha!

    Bon appétit!

    • Kate says

      Thanks for your sweet words about my pictures! :) And I’m right there with you on the laundry…it always seems to be there, doesn’t it? :)

  5. says

    I Googled ‘make tea with fresh mint leaves’ and this was one of the top results. I have a few mint plants growing in my yard, my rabbit likes to eat it, my sons chew the leaves like gum, but all that barely does any damage! I wanted to try a tea but I didn’t know how, so here I am! So glad to find out its super easy, I’m gonna brew up a pot right now!

    • says

      When you dry it – then how do you make tea specifically. Also any other things to use it for? I just planted my first mint plant and an researching all the things I can do with it. I did find a great way to dry it so now I am anxiously looking for ideas.

      • Kate says

        When you dry it, make sure it is SUPER dry, then just crumble it and use it as you would loose tea leaves. Meantime fresh mint is wonderful in fruit salad, in iced tea, torn and sprinkled onto sherbet – yum!

  6. bridget says

    This is such a nice little summery article…I have guests coming and I wanted to serve iced mint tea from my garden, so I am going to make this tea first…but then I saw the tea cozy and I just want to ask your friend for her pattern for that cozy. Do you think she would share that? Hope so if not I will enjoy the tea without it! Thanks B

  7. Melinda says

    Thank you for the information and the beautiful pictures.
    Would your friend share the pattern for the “tea cozy”.
    I would love to knit it!

    With gratitude, Melinda

  8. says

    Oh my goodness! I just took my very first sip of my very first homemade mint tea plucked from leaves in my garden. Sooo delicious! Mine is a combination of Orange Mint, Spearmint and Chcolate Mint tea leaves. Thanks for a deliciously-delightful post!

  9. Anne Patterson says

    Kate, any chance your friend would share the tea cozy pattern? My sister sent your post and wants me to knit her one.
    Thanks –

  10. Karla says

    We have had mint growing in our yard that has crept under the neighbors fence and my son had been mowing it down finally convenenced him to pick it which he did and I just made my first pot of fresh meint tea HEAVENLY is the only word that comes to mind Sweetened it with Agave yum

    • Holly says

      mint tea has so many health benefits, the mint is good for stomach aches, morning sickness, colds, it helps to relieve constipation, it’s good for relaxation and it’s amazing to taste! you shouldn’t drink more than 4 to 5 cups a day but it’s an amazing drink before bed, especially with a spoon of lemon juice mixed into the teapot! it really helps you sleep and it’s also brilliant for period cramps. Is there a thing this tea CAN’T do?!

  11. JSusie says

    Thank you so much for your mint tea recipe. Having never used my mint for tea before, it was just what I needed. I love your style of sharing. Sounds like I’m getting advice from a close friend. I definately will follow this site.

  12. Cory says

    Amazing. Simply Amazing. Bless you.
    One question though. Is there anyway to keep the leaves from drying out too much once they’ve been picked. I have to go buy mine from the grocers.

    • Kate says

      Hi Cory! The best way is to just pop the stalks of mint in a glass of water, much as you would do with a bouquet of flowers. Sometimes if you leave them in there long enough they will sprout little roots and keep for days!

  13. Brenda says

    I’m simply amazed (feeling a little stupid) checked the ingredients, re-read the instructions. No tea is actually involved…on my way now to pick a few sprigs and make some tea. #chillyday #rainingoutside #needhottea

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