Fresh Mint Tea

When I was a little girl, as far back as I can remember, my Mammaw made tea from the mint plants she grew in her garden.  I remember smelling the fresh mint as it grew, and I remember the kitchen smelling like mint while she simmered the leaves.  But I did not like drinking it all! Until now.

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My love for mint tea happened many years ago, I bought my usual box of green tea at the market.  Or at least I thought I did.  It was green tea, but with mint.  I was in heaven!  One of the girls I work with also has mint tea in her garden.  She offered me a handful of mint sprigs, so I decided to give it try and make my own mint tea.  I am now hooked and will surely be sad when the mint tea no longer grows for the year.

The first time I made it, I threw the tea sprigs in a bowl of water and put it in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes.  Then I left it sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes.  Scooped out the tea leaves, poured it in the pitcher, and while it was still hot I added about a half cup of sugar and chilled it.  It was actually pretty good!

But I thought maybe it needed to be darker. So I called my aunt and uncle, who also grow the mint tea leaves and make their own tea.  I remembered Mammaw simmering it on the stove so I thought that must be the trick to a darker tea.  But I discovered that really just depends on how long you let it steep after simmering.

So the next time I made it, I used my one quart pot, cut the tea stems in half and put them in the pot.  I use the entire stem with the leaves, but if any of them have a flower on it, I snip that off, but my aunt leaves it on.

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I covered the tea sprigs with enough water to fill half the pot. Brought it to a low boil then reduced the heat to a light simmer.  I left it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.  Then I removed it from the heat and left it steep for about 15-20 minutes.   My entire house had a delightful fresh mint aroma.

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I LOVE sweet tea too so I decided to try my aunts version and I made a simple syrup.  I used about ¾ cup of sugar to ¾ cup of water, brought it to a light simmer until the sugar melted and then removed it from the heat.  Next time I will cut back slightly on the sugar, it was just a bit too sweet.  I cannot believe I just said that!!

I scooped out the sprigs, poured the tea in my pitcher, added the simple syrup and then added water to fill up the pitcher

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If you want to make your own mint tea, play around with the amount of sprigs you use, the more sprigs you use is really up to your taste preference, as is the sugar.  I’m not sure if simmering longer could result in a more minty flavor, but it’s worth a shot.  And the way you sweeten the tea is your preference as well, just remember the sugar will dissolve better when the water/tea is still really warm.  When pouring the tea and sugar in the pitcher, you may need to add more water to the pitcher, just be careful that you don’t add too much and dilute the tea/sugar flavor.  Go ahead and play around with it, and enjoy!

This was the best tea I have ever made!!!  Cheers!