by Texas Homesteader ~
I enjoy drinking hot tea when the weather turns cold. One of my favorite flavored herbal teas is made with the spearmint I grow right here on the Homestead. Mint tea!
(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a tiny commission. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)
Benefits Of Spearmint
According to WebbMD, spearmint tea has several health benefits. On top of being caffeine free, it’s also reported to offer:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved memory
- Help with digestive issues
- Antioxidant benefits
There is question over whether or not spearmint tea affects acid reflux.
Also as with any herbal supplement, you should exercise caution if you’re pregnant.
If there are any questions for you with this or any food or herb item, your doctor is always the best source of council.
Growing Fresh Mint
Years ago I finally got mint to grow. Yeah, yeah I know – most of you have no problem getting mint to grow. But…
You see, I’d heard how easy it is to grow mint. It could even be invasive. But I love mint so I planted it anyway. Over & over again. Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint and more.
But each time the mint would grow for a short time and then die. How could that be?? It’s supposed to be beyond easy to grow mint! I tried and tried but I simply couldn’t get it to grow for some reason.
Then I became frustrated at buying mint over & over again just to have it die. And I knew that anyone who’d planted mint would likely be thrilled to pass some on.
So I put out a plea to my family. “I’m tired of losing money buying mint plants – I’ll take a start of whatever mint you have!”
My aunt shared some spearmint plants with me, but warned it could be invasive. (Yeah, yeah, I know. No worries there.)
I brought it home and planted it in my Edible Landscape Bed. I even built a Special Mint Bed – complete with a metal fire ring buried deep to make sure the mint played nice with the other surrounding plants.
Low & behold it grew beautifully without any help from me. Not even water. Now that’s a rugged plant!
It’s grown wonderfully all these years. I love that the prolific mint blooms attract so many pollinators.
Hey, anything I can do to help our beloved pollinators I’m happy to do it!
In early summer I typically give my mint its first haircut of the year to keep it compact.
But I’m not gonna put those cuttings in the *Compost Tumbler, oh NO! I can’t take the chance that a tiny stem would survive the composting and take hold in my garden. LOL.
So that first mint cutting is chopped into small pieces and sprinkled in my chicken’s nesting boxes.
Then in the fall I cut the mint all the way back to within just a couple of inches of the ground. This time all that harvested mint is mine all mine!
Hot Herbal Mint Tea
You see, I’m not really much of an Ice Tea Drinker in the summer months like RancherMan is.
But I do enjoy a comforting cup of hot tea during those cold winter months. I discovered quite by accident that this mint is a deeeee-lightful cup of hot, all-natural herbal tea.
And with my homemade mint tea there’s no caffeine to worry about either! So I can enjoy it whenever I like.
How To Make Fresh Mint Tea
To make my mint tea before the first frost when the mint’s still growing I simply take two or three 2” cuttings of fresh mint and bring them inside.
I’ll wash them quickly and then put them in my favorite vintage mug. Then I pour in boiling water and let it steep until it’s as strong as I like it.
Sometimes I strain the mint leaves from my mug, but more times than not I leave those mint stems right in my cup. The mint aroma is quite nice.
Preserving Fresh Mint
But during the fall when I’m cutting the whole plant back I’ll be bringing in much more fresh mint than just a mid-year trimming. I need to preserve all those mint leaves for later since I like to have dry mint leaves in my pantry.
So after washing and shaking dry all the trimmings, I’ll remove the leaves from the stems. This can be labor intensive, depending upon how much I’ve had to trim back. Sometimes it’s a LOT!
But soon all the leaves are stripped, washed and lightly air dried. Now I need to dry them completely for storage.
You can use a dehydrator to dry the mint. It only takes 2-3 hours generally – again depending upon how many leaves you’re drying.
But more often than not I simply spread the leaves out and let them air dry. A couple of times a day I’ll fluff the leaves to make sure they’re all exposed to the air. That way they’ll dry completely.
It typically only takes a day or two, but I usually leave them an extra day just for good measure.
When my mint is completely dry I’ll store the dried leaves in repurposed glass jars. #UseWhatchaGot, bebe!
Making Hot Tea With Dry Mint
When I want hot mint tea during the colder winter months I simply bring out my reusable linen tea bag and add a tablespoon or so of dry mint leaves (or 1 teaspoon of crushed mint leaves) per cup of boiling water.
I prefer using a reusable linen tea bag since reading that many commercially-made disposable tea bags – even the ones that that look like paper – actually have plastic in them!
NOTE: I often have extra reusable tea bags that I sell at *My Online Store if you’d like to have some for yourself)
When my tea bag is prepared I pour some boiling water into my favorite oversized mug and drop the tea bag in to steep into that delightful non-caffeinated herbal tea I love.
This hot tea sure warms me from the inside out when the weather’s cold.
I enjoy this herbal tea in all its simplicity – just mint. It’s one of the most delicious, comforting zero-waste swaps I’ve made.
Links In This Post:
- Dual-Purpose Edible Landscape Bed
- Special Mint Bed
- *Compost Tumbler
- Sun-Brewed Ice Tea
- *Reusable Linen Tea Bags @ My Online Store
Our Favorite Homemade Drinks
- Chai Tea Mix
- Healthy Rehydration: Haymaker’s Punch
- Homemade Velvety Chocolate Hot Cocoa
- Watermelon Daiquiri (or Smoothie)
- Sun Tea – Brewed With The Power Of The Sun
- Cool, Refreshing Sweet Mint Beverage
- All-Natural Hot Apple Cider
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WebbMD – Spearmint Tea Health Benefits