Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wooly or Apple?

Tea for Tuesday #11

Mint from the Garden

Hi! Today we're going to tell you about what Great Aunt Lanie calls "Garden Tea."
Some time ago a friend gave Xyra some mint for our garden. The first year it was a small patch. Then there was so much we could barely handle it. Then something else seemed to take over and we have a very small batch again.
I think we'd rather have a large patch of mint. Especially now that we know we can harvest and spread the leaves around to keep pests away.
ANYWAY! The mint we have we know as wooly mint, but it is also known as apple mint. There are 30 different types of mint.
Did you know catnip is part of the mint family? And did you know that people make cat mint tea to drink themselves?
You know how Pyewacket and Licorice and the other kitties are always trying to drink out of our milk glasses? I can't even imagine how they'd react if we had cat mint tea!
Anyway! Wooly mint makes a lovely beverage. It's best to cut it when the leaves are smaller and before it goes to flower like this one has.
The tea grows back, so you can have more later. 
I love the little white and pink flower the mint gets. And it smells wonderful when cut.
Here's a closer look at the leaves. Can you see they look fuzzy? There are tiny "hairs" on the stems and leaves.
You can use the leaves to make tea or as a garnish or you can add into salads. You can add it to sorbets, ice cubes, and herb rubs.
We're going to separate the smaller, unblemished leaves and use them to make tea.
Because making garden tea is not like steeping loose or bag tea, we're just going to tell you the process and let Xyra do all the work.
After we sort and rinse the leaves, Xyra will put them in a pot and fill the pot with water. 
Then she puts the pot on the stove on medium heat and lets it come to a boil. Once it boils we let it boil for a couple minutes then turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
This is an herbal tea so no caffeine; however, if you let it sit too long it will get bitter.
Made that mistake once. Once!
[Time passes]
Now, here we have our lovely garden tea. Some call it mint tea. The tea in the pitcher is hot. This is one tea we prefer sweet. So have added sugar to taste to the hot pitcher; that way it dissolves properly.
The glass did have ice in it, but it melted. (giggles)
(sips) Light mint flavor. Just cold and sweet enough. Very refreshing.
(sips) You know, it's not a strong mint like peppermint or spearmint. Almost fruity. I guess that's why they call it apple mint.
A great place to try mint tea is the Goschenhoppen Folk Festival. It's a great place to learn about the different uses for mint and the different mint plants too. If you're in the area this Friday or Saturday...
August 11 and 12Stop by the Antes House off Rt 73 in Perkiomenville, PA. You may not see us, but you could find Xyra helping with the animals.

Have you ever had mint tea? Is it a favorite? Do you grow mint in your garden?

So glad you stopped; come again soon! À bientôt!


  1. Love the green color of mint tea. Xyra's daddy showed her how to make mint tea. Before he grew it himself, he would stop alongside the road to pick some. Then he'd bring it home and prepare it just as Grace & Kaya told you. It is very refreshing on a hot summer day. It's even enjoyed by someone who isn't fond of mint flavor--me--Gramma Enne

    1. I think he strained it through a tea towel. I didn't do it that way, but used a pan with straining holes in the lid.

  2. I love mint tea. I used to put it in my ice tea as a kid. I haven't had it in years!

    1. That's a neat idea, adding springs of mint to iced tea. Will have to try that.

  3. I use to make blackberry mint cobbler for a neighbor as a thank you for letting me eat his berries. He loved it.

    1. That sounds tasty!

      Oo, can I have the recipe, please?

      Great memories!

  4. Interesting! There used to be a patch of wild peppermint where we used to live, I can remember my one friend and I picking a leaf just to suck on, and then we had fresh breath too!