If you’ve even grown mint, you know it can get a little out of control. I intentionally planted a row of it next to my driveway a few years ago and everyone thought I was crazy. I knew it would spread, in fact, I was counting on it.
My daughter and I have used it to make mint jelly, but we still have a surplus from last year. Turns out, if you offer people a choice between mint jelly or pickled garlic for Christmas (and they’ve tried your pickled garlic before) they’re going to choose the garlic.
I cut the mint back a few days ago, and didn’t really intend to do anything with it. I mentioned to my husband that I had considered drying it for tea and before I could blink he and my son were working on a drying contraption.
They started with the Screen Door Method. They lasted a lot longer than I thought they would, pulling those leaves off one by one.
When they lost patience, they switched to the Hanging Method.
Turns out, when you leave it alone outside in the summer for a week and a half, it doesn’t really matter how you do it, it’s going to be dry. Lucky for my husband, who had taken ownership of this tea project, the leaves are easy to slide off. We now have several seal-a-meal bags full of crushed mint.
I started wondering if I was wrong in thinking I could just brew mint leaves alone and call it tea, so I did a quick search. What I learned is that you can brew it alone, add regular tea, lemon or other dried herbs and spices. The one that really caught my attention was lavender, mainly because it’s also something I have growing in front of my house. I was torn between my fear it would taste like soap and curiosity. Curiosity won, as usual.
I didn’t measure the amounts of mint and lavender I used, but this should give you an idea. The plate is dessert-size.
I used a coffee filter as a tea bag. These two smelled fantastic together, which gave me hope for this experiment.
I tied it closed with a bit of cheesecloth.
I poured boiling water over the tea into a quart jar and let it sit for 15 minutes. I think I would go 30 minutes next time.
After I took the tea bag out, I poured it over 1 quart of ice.
I have to say, this was surprisingly good. It’s very mild, which is why I would brew it longer next time, but tasty. I didn’t notice the lavender unless I thought about it, but it’s there. I like my tea sweetened and it seemed like the raw vanilla sugar I used brought the flavors out a little more.
I’m planning to dry some of my lavender so I can try this hot in the winter. Now I have to go figure out where I’m going to store all that mint. Maybe I’ll mention it to the boys…