While in Amsterdam I noticed that in our hotel beside the coffee and tea there was a glass full of mint. At that time in the morning I thought nothing of it, and filled my coffee cup. (I don’t often do a lot of thinking before my morning coffee).
But then on our last day we stopped in a cafe for one last coffee before heading to the airport. On the drinks menu was Fresh Mint Tea.
It seems quite common in the Netherlands, and I needed to try it having previously only had mint tea from a teabag. My favourite is Three Mint Tea from Pukka.
It came served with a small sliver of ginger cake and a sachet of honey. Personally I didn’t think it needed the honey.
Of course I wanted to recreate this as soon as I got home.
The mint I have on my kitchen windowsill is a different variety from that of the tea we drank in Amsterdam but it seemed to work just as well.
Pro tip: If you cut mint earlier than you need it, keep the stalks submerged in water, it keeps the leaves perky.
Using fresh mint you won’t get as strong a minty flavour as say with a mint teabag, well certainly not with the amount of mint I could reasonably fit in my glass. But it’s fresh, tasty, calming drink which smells delightful.
To make mint tea grab a couple of stalks, the taste will largely depend on the thickness and number of leaves, my mint plant has long and spindly stalks so I used 3 or 4, if yours is stalkier with more leaves (like the Mint I saw used in the Netherlands) then one will probably do.
Submerge the stalks in hot water and leave to steep for at least 5 minutes. Sweetening with honey if you need it. It could be that at this point you can remove the stalks and drink it – I don’t, I like drinking it slowly so more and more flavour can be released as I drink.
I grow mint in a pot in the windowsill, which is pretty prolific, but without killing it I could only have one fresh mint tea every two weeks! This is not enough for my latest habit, so I am intending to step up my game with growing lots of different varieties in my garden.
Any tips for growing mint? What other herbs make great teas? Comments welcome.