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 as we start the month of May. If you’re a gardener, I’m sure you’ve been anxiously waiting to get outside to start some planting too. It’s still a bit early for us with impending frost, but I did pick up a few herbs that will live in our kitchen for now. One of my favourites to grow every year is mint.
Oh, how I love using fresh mint in recipes all season long. Summer and fresh mint seem to go hand-in-hand. Don’t you agree?
Did you know you can dry fresh mint? It’s super easy to do and makes the best tea, both hot and cold. If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to try this summer, this ginger mint iced tea is a good one.
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.
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.
HOW TO 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. 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 bundles upside down in a warm, dry and dark place with good ventilation for a week or so to get rid of the moisture. 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? 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.
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.
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.
Finally, if you’ve never grown your own mint, it’s super easy. And, no, you don’t need a green thumb, pinky swear! Be sure to check out my tips for growing mint if you have any questions.