Growing mint in your garden? See how easy it is to dry fresh mint leaves to brew tea and more. Enjoy this refreshing herb all year long!
Hello friends! I’m always brimming with enthusiasm during the growing season. If you’re a gardener, I’m sure you’re out checking your plants to see how everything is progressing too. It’s so satisfying to see it all unfold, isn’t it?! Although it’s still a bit early for us to enjoy any homegrown produce, I did pick up a few herbs at the garden centre that are ready to snip. One of my favourites to grow every year is mint.
Oh how I love using fresh mint in recipes all season long. Hot summer weather and cooling mint seem to go hand-in-hand.
Did you Know you can Dry Fresh Mint?
Drying mint is super easy to do and makes the best tea, both hot and cold. Of course, we’re all looking for refreshing drinks to try throughout summer, and this ginger mint iced tea is both easy and satisfying.
HOW TO Air DRY MINT LEAVES FOR TEA
To dry, you can start with a fresh bundle from the grocery store, or cut stems from a plant in the morning when they’re plump.
Wash the mint in cold water, then shake off any excess moisture into the sink, or simply dry on a paper towel. Another option is using a salad spinner.
Gather stems back up into a small bundle, then secure with a bit of kitchen string. Be sure to divide stems into 2 or 3 bundles if you’re drying a large quantity.
Hang mint bundles upside down in a warm, dry and dark place with good ventilation for a week or so to get rid of the moisture. Be sure the humidity is low. Our kitchen pantry works well. Drying time will vary. You may need to tighten the string at the bottom as the stems shrink.
Gently remove leaves from stems. Store in an airtight container up to 6 months.
Need a Quick-dry Method for Mint?
Remove clean leaves from stems, then place on a paper towel for a few days. Be sure they’re fully dry before transferring to a jar.
An even faster option is using a dehydrator (follow manufacturer instructions) or an oven at the lowest temperature setting around 160°F (no more than 200°F). Check regularly to ensure mint leaves don’t burn.
Which mint plants are best for tea?
My favourites are spearmint and peppermint. Of course, you can use almost any variety of mint to make tea, so do some experimenting.
Others to try are field mint, water mint, chocolate mint and lemon balm.
To Make a Cup of Tea
To prepare a cup of mint tea, crush a few tea leaves (about a teaspoon) and add to a loose leaf tea infuser or tea filter bag.
Bring fresh water not quite to boiling (about 93°F), then pour into mug. Steep for 3-5 minutes. We have a Breville smart kettle that heats the water to the optimal temperature for herbal tea.
For a bit of variation, I sometimes add a touch of honey to my mint tea.
Seems pretty simple to dry and make, right? I love that mint tea is naturally caffeine-free and so soothing on the tummy. Mint tea can often help with headaches too, so steep a cup the next time you feel one coming on. You just never know if it will nip it in the bud.
Of course, you can also make fresh mint tea. Simply snip a bundle of leaves, wash, then follow the same instructions as above.
What to do with Dried Mint
Dried mint leaves are quite versatile. I add them to smoothies, dressings, sauces, drinks, baked goods and more. It’s an easy way to add minty flavour throughout the year.
You can also use dried mint to create bath products or scented sachets.
Finally, if you’ve never grown your own mint, it’s super easy. And, no, you don’t need a green thumb! Even a small pot will yield a good amount of mint to dry or eat fresh.
Be sure to check out my tips for growing mint if you have any questions.
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These dried mint tips and ideas were originally published May 2021 and updated with new ideas and photos June 2022.