LC Appropriately Minty Note
“Appropriately minty.” That’s how someone once described freshly steeped mint tea made from herbs plucked from her garden to us. It says a lot about the virtues of fresh mint tea versus what you get in a teabag—and that’s not even speaking to the ease and simplicity of going out back and snipping a couple sprigs from your garden, pouring hot water over the leaves, and patiently letting them steep for a couple minutes. Appropriately minty, indeed.
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings
Bring the filtered water to a boil in a tea kettle or saucepan over high heat.
Place the mint sprigs in a heatproof vessel or a French press or divvy the mint sprigs between 2 tea cups or mugs and pour in enough hot water over the mint to fill the cups or mugs. Let the mint steep for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how mild or potent you take your tea, occasionally tilting the vessel, cups, or mugs to swirl the water against the mint sprigs.
Remove and discard the mint. Serve the mint tea immediately, letting the tea cool slightly before sipping.
Iced Mint Tea Variation
To serve this as iced mint tea, start at least 4 hours ahead of time. Make a triple batch of mint tea. Remove the mint sprigs after steeping for 2 to 4 minutes and then cover and refrigerate the tea until cold. Serve over ice.
Recipe Testers' Tips
I was surprised by how much I liked this mint tea—it really does add up to more than the sum of its parts. We usually have some mint hanging around in the fridge, but I’ve still been going for the bagged mint tea in the cupboard. Never again! (At least when there is already mint in the house.) I made three versions of this, one that steeped for 1 minute, one that steeped for 2 minutes, and an iced version that I did for between 3 and 4 minutes. We tried the two hot versions side by side—we both preferred the one that had gone for 2 minutes, but if you like a really mild flavor, stick with 1 minute. It tasted sweet even though we didn't add any sweetener. The iced tea was great the next day with a slice of lemon and lime and another little sprig of mint.
Our fresh mint has gone crazy in our garden this summer! With a whole lot of mint to use, I was very interested in making this simple fresh mint tea recipe after dinner the other night. Fresh mint is one of the most recognizable and potent herbs out there—there is no mistaking fresh mint when you smell or taste it. The charm behind this homemade herbal tea is that you inhale the strong mint smell in your cup before your taste buds get to try it. It’s a warm treat for all of your senses! My sprigs of mint had between 10 to 15 leaves on each one, and for the 4 cups of filtered water, it made 4 large mugs of tea. (But yes, depends on how big your cups are and how you are using it.) I could see this not only being a nice tea for slumber time, but also a quick fix if you had the sniffles or just wanted a pick-me-up on a cold afternoon. I actually used the rest of my tea in a batch of iced tea—I poured the remaining fresh mint tea into the rest of a pitcher of homemade black iced tea for a bit of minty flavor. It was nice with some fresh lemon slices floating around in it as well.
This tea was ready to sip in less than 3 minutes. I stepped out my front door, picked 2 sprigs chocolate mint, put them in a mug of just-off-the-boil water, and steeped the tea for 2 minutes. The result was a clean, lovely, and relaxing cup of tea. This recipe harks back to a simpler time—when tea was made from plants in your garden, not from a container. You can't get any more local than this!
I adore recipes that are so basic they seem to affirm your own intuition. Swirl a deliciously fragrant herb in hot water. Sip. Enjoy. No hard-to-source ingredient or pricey kitchen contraption required. I imagine this tea is something my great-grandmother probably made, and it elicits such a joyful, peaceful feeling. The recipe yields enough for 2 servings, but I wanted more when my cup was empty. No problem. Just heat more water and repeat. I considered adding honey, but for me, that would've spoiled the simplicity of this recipe.
Fresh mint tea is so much better than dried mint tea from a tea bag. If you have access to fresh mint, there is nothing like the fresh burst of mint flavor. It’s a ritual for my husband and me to drink mint tea before bedtime, but we usually resort to the store-bought tea bag version because we rarely have fresh mint around. After finally trying this at home, I'm thinking I should grow fresh mint so I can have it around all the time. Making fresh mint tea is just as easy as using a standard store-bought tea bag but has much better flavor and is more satisfying. This pour-over-and-steep method produces a nice, light mint tea. For a deeper-flavored mint tea, you can bring the water and leaves to a boil in a small pot then simmer on low for 3 to 5 minutes. I learned this tip the first time I had fresh mint tea a few years ago while dining in a Middle Eastern restaurant. I was thrilled to have tea that was fresh and fragrant. It was helpful to know how many leaves to use for 2 cups versus how many sprigs because my sprigs only had 5 to 6 large leaves each.
This makes a mint tea that is subtle and refreshing, nothing like those tea bags from the store. There are many different varieties of mint, so you could make a different tea almost every day of the week. I rinse my mint when I bring it in from the garden. I found that a sprig with 12 to 14 leaves was really too big for the mug, so I put 14 leaves into a large infuser to make it easier to remove. My daughter and I both truly enjoyed the calming aspects of this tea, as brewing this way makes a tea that's not as harsh as its tea-bag counterpart. I think that we could enjoy this daily as long as there is fresh mint in the garden. I found that 2 large sprigs made 2 mugs (4 tea cups), as in this country, most people seem to prefer having their tea in mugs. We also made this tea a second time and put the 2 large sprigs mint into a warmed teapot before adding the hot water. After allowing it to steep for a few minutes, we removed the mint and sipped away our cares. This time we used tea cups, and the teapot kept the mint tea warm while we enjoyed our first cup without allowing it to over-brew.
This tea—or tisane, to be super-specific—takes all of 5 minutes, including filling your kettle and washing the mint while your water comes to boil. Then you have a guilt-free, kind-to-the spirit cup to drink at the end of your evening or any time during the day. I consider this a recipe to relax (caffeine-free). I made this in a French press that happens to hold 4 cups nicely and is also easy to press after the brief steep. It also means that if I don’t serve all of this immediately, I can pop the pot in the fridge or decant it and chill it for later. Even if this doesn’t have the tea and sugar of a traditional Moroccan mint tea, you can still pour it from a height into a tea glass or mug and appreciate the ritual. The brief steep time is just right for this tisane. If you want to add gunpowder tea and even a teaspoon or two of sugar, increase the steeping to 4 to 5 minutes and pack a little extra mint in. We always put as much mint as we could fit in the pot when my host family taught me how to do this as an exchange student in Maroc. It is a smell and taste that reminds me of my first travels. (I almost always make tea in a teapot or press-pot because I believe you get a better brew than a cup allows. It was also how I was taught to make mint tea by my host family as an exchange student.)