Like many nerds who obsess over anime, games and all great things from the East, I have a passion for all things tea related. That’s why about a month back I decided to buy some mint plants so that I could add a little more flavor to my drinks. Now I don’t know if you’re familiar with mint plants, but they grow quickly. VERY QUICKLY. In fact, the image above was taken just two weeks after the first harvest when I took nearly every leaf off the plant. As you can see, this did not deter them at all. Several of these leaves are actually much larger than any I got from the first harvest, and now that I’m leaving them outside full time I imagine they’ll only get bigger.
So after plucking the biggest leaves and giving them a little wash, I’ve spread them out over my dehydrator to speed up the process a bit. I’ve had this Presto dehydrator for about a year now, and have used it for several different things from dried citrus to homemade jerky. Thing works like a charm, but can heat and smell a room up like crazy depending on what you’re making.
Once the leaves are dry you can crush them up and store them in a dry place to make tea with later. This photo is actually what I have left from the first harvest, so the container is mostly empty. To be honest I’ve learned that strictly mint tea is not for me since it makes my stomach feel a little strange, but it goes great mixed with other teas — especially citrus and/or green teas.
Once dried, I crumble the mint leaves into an empty container of Jasmine tea (pictured above) and take a pinch of both the mint and Jasmine tea to put into my tea pot. For those interested, it’s a cast-iron tea pot with a ceramic painted inside and crafted in Japan. I received it as a Christmas present six or seven years ago from my aunt and have used it ever since.
Fun fact: They don’t recommend cleaning the inside because they say the buildup of tea residue can enhance future teas’ flavors. Personally I still clean it after ever couple of uses because something about leaving plant matter alone for too long makes me a little paranoid.
So there we have it! After 3-5 minutes (or ~10 if you’re me and prefer it to sit for a while), we’ve got a nice minty green tea. And don’t worry, I didn’t steal that Waffle House mug. I’m a bit of a mug collector and bought this one recently because I liked the shape… That may have been one of the nerdiest things I’ve ever said, so I’ll stop there.
What’s your favorite tea blend? Do you prefer light or dark teas? Maybe you’re a fan of the fermented pu-erh tea I’m just now learning about?