Tea (rec.drink.tea) Discussion relating to tea, the world's second most consumed beverage (after water), made by infusing or boiling the leaves of the tea plant (C. sinensis or close relatives) in water.

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Old 05-07-2005, 11:45 AM
Mike Petro
 
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Default Spearmint

Can anyone recommend a good source for freshly dried Spearmint? How do
I know if the spearmint is fresh or not? For example I have some
that's 1.5 years old and I assume it has lost its edge, but how would
I know just by inspecting it?

I use spearmint leaf in my iced tea blend, about 2 parts Yunnan Gold
to 1 part spearmint leaf, and it is definitely that time of year
again. I have spearmint from the likes of Adagio before but I was
hoping for a better or more direct source.

I grow some of my own spearmint, can anyone tell me how they use fresh
spearmint in their tea? I do know that a nice big sprig n the glass
makes a nice presentation and adds a hint of aroma and flavor. What's
the best way to dry it?

Mike Petro
http://www.pu-erh.net

Mike Petro
http://www.pu-erh.net
"In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not be forgotten that much likewise is performed."
Samuel Johnson, 1775, upon finishing his dictionary.

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Old 05-07-2005, 12:17 PM
Dog Ma 1
 
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Mike Petro wrote"
I grow some of my own spearmint, can anyone tell me how they use fresh
spearmint in their tea? I do know that a nice big sprig n the glass
makes a nice presentation and adds a hint of aroma and flavor. What's
the best way to dry it?


I grow several mints, mainly for iced tea. (Haven't tried it with Puer yet,
but soon...) Peppermint and spearmint both seem to work well; the fancy ones
seem too fruity to me. I would never dry it - too much loss of delicate top
notes. Fortunately, mint is plentiful from well before to well after the
iced-tea season here.

When using, I generally take about two leaves per cup, bruise by rolling
between clean palms, and throw into the mix.

An alternative to drying, which works well for all sorts of fresh herbs, is
to freeze the moist leaves. Bags and jars work; needs to be airtight to
avoid freezer burn given the high surface area. Cell damage from freezing
releases even more taste.

I used to grow mint indoors for winter pleasure, but always got aphids.
"Safer soap" insecticide works fine and washes off, but I couldn't be
bothered.

-DM


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Old 06-07-2005, 09:16 AM
Melinda
 
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Default

Hey Mike, I actually wanted to find some too because it's supposed to be the
authentic way to make Morrocan mint tea...anyway, I looked through my links
and found this place-

http://www.kalyx.com/store/prodpage5.../2051/file.htm

I have not ordered from these folks before but it sure seems like they have
a really good selection of herbs and spices and reasonable prices. Bwrring
that, try a local heath food store who carries bulk herbs...although it
seems like peppermint is way more common to find there than spearmint. I
tried to grow peppermint in my front flowerbox this summer but none of it
came up, which surprised me since I'd heard it grew like a weed...

Good luck

Melinda


"Mike Petro" wrote in message
...
Can anyone recommend a good source for freshly dried Spearmint? How do
I know if the spearmint is fresh or not? For example I have some
that's 1.5 years old and I assume it has lost its edge, but how would
I know just by inspecting it?


Mike Petro
http://www.pu-erh.net
"In this work, when it shall be found that much is omitted, let it not be
forgotten that much likewise is performed."
Samuel Johnson, 1775, upon finishing his dictionary.



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Old 06-07-2005, 03:47 PM
Scott Dorsey
 
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Mike Petro wrote:
Can anyone recommend a good source for freshly dried Spearmint? How do
I know if the spearmint is fresh or not? For example I have some
that's 1.5 years old and I assume it has lost its edge, but how would
I know just by inspecting it?


Compare the smell with some fresh spearmint.

I use spearmint leaf in my iced tea blend, about 2 parts Yunnan Gold
to 1 part spearmint leaf, and it is definitely that time of year
again. I have spearmint from the likes of Adagio before but I was
hoping for a better or more direct source.


There is nothing more direct than my backyard, or your backyard. Mint is
a weed, and easy to grow. The main problem with it is that it tends to
breed with any other mint nearby... if you have spearmint and your neighbor
has peppermint, the second year you'll find you both have something kind
of in-between.

I grow some of my own spearmint, can anyone tell me how they use fresh
spearmint in their tea? I do know that a nice big sprig n the glass
makes a nice presentation and adds a hint of aroma and flavor. What's
the best way to dry it?


If you grow your own spearmint, the easiest thing to do is dry it yourself.
You can hang a bunch from the ceiling in a cool and dry place like the
garage. You can dry in a convection oven or a food dehydrator as well.
You'll be much happier with doing it yourself than buying commercially
dried mint.

I have never used fresh spearmint in hot tea, but I will often put a
large sprig in when I make iced tea, and leave it there as it cools.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


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