How to Make Mint Tea From the Plant

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Whether you grow mint in your garden or in a pot on your windowsill, all you need is a pair of scissors to harvest a few sprigs of mint for a refreshing cup of mint tea. There are several different mints, including spearmint and peppermint, and the term "mint" is often used interchangeably. While relaxing with a cup of freshly brewed mint tea is an enjoyable experience any time of year, the tea is especially refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. Peppermint tea has medicinal qualities and is sometimes used to settle a mild case of indigestion or to soothe a sore throat or cough. Talk to your physician before using mint tea for medicinal purposes.

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Harvest fresh mint leaves from healthy mint plants. Avoid plants treated with herbicides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. For the most intense flavor, harvest mint tea on a warm, sunny day after morning moisture has evaporated. Harvest tea with clean, sharp scissors or knife to avoid bruising the tender mint leaves.

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Put a few sprigs of washed, fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a teapot or any container made to withstand heat. As a general rule of thumb, use about 1 tbsp. of fresh mint leaves for each cup of tea. Heat 2 to 3 cups of water until the water is just about to boil, then pour the hot water slowly over the mint leaves.

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Allow the mint leaves to steep in the hot water for 2 to 5 minutes. Experiment to discover the best steeping time, as the strength of mint tea is largely a matter of personal preference. Also, the strength of mint tea varies according to different varieties and harvest times.

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Strain the mint tea through a fine mesh strainer or a paper coffee filter to remove the leaves. Pour the tea into cups or mugs. Add sugar, honey or other sweeteners as desired. Serve herb tea with a sprig of mint.

Tips

To make iced mint tea, chill the tea in the refrigerator, then serve over ice.

Fresh mint leaves can be dried for later use. Tie a string or rubber band around a small bunch of mint leaves, then hang the bunch in a dark, well-ventilated space until the mint is dry and brittle. Remove the stems, then store the leaves in an airtight container.

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