The garden is filled with mint already – time for fresh mint tea! In Greece, mint tea is usually used as a folk remedy for stomach aches. Certainly that’s how I knew it growing up. I think it’s too good to save only for times when you’re under the weather and I brew it up year-round. I often sometimes opt for other types of tea to alternate the flavors and health benefits I experience, for instance, you could try adding mint to a tea blend like this Kumari Gold or similar products. Experimentation with tea can sometimes bring you to some incredible flavors.
For an authentic experience, have your tea in a small glass the way it’s served in many places throughout Greece. You can add sugar, honey or lemon. I happen to like mine as is. Let me know which is your favorite!
Mint tea is not only good for you, it’s tasty hot or cold. When mint is in season, try to use fresh mint leaves. Yes, they can take over your entire garden but it’s great to have on hand. Fresh mint leaves brew up a deeper color tea and, I think, have a much more intense flavor than dried.
- 1/2 cup cleaned, rinsed fresh mint leave to 1 quart of boiling water
- 5-7 medium size fresh mint leaves to 8 oz boiling water
Let leaves steep 5-10 minutes depending on your taste. I like a good ten minutes but no more or the tea will become bitter. When making a large batch, I add the leaves loose into the boiling water. When making a single cup, I use a deep tea basket that fits right over my cup.
If you like sweet tea, instead of adding plain sugar, add simple syrup (recipe below) until you get desired sweetness. This gives your tea a much smoother taste and is perfect for entertaining.
- 1 part white sugar to 1 part water, boil until sugar is dissolved
Remember when you use fresh mint to rinse it well and pinch the leaves away from the stalk so that the leaves have little or no stem attached. The stems are bitter so the fewer you have the tastier your tea.