A million years ago, my mom gave me a little mason jar filled with dried mint leaves. She said “you can make your own tea with this”. My mom always had a garden overflowing with mint. And it smelled so good. If you’ve ever had mint leaves dipped in egg white and powdered sugar, then you probably had a mom who grew mint.
I bought a small mint plant at the beginning of the summer. To be honest, I didn’t think it would do much, it was so tiny when I planted it. It was perfect alongside some oregano and rosemary. That pot is a feast for the olfactory system.
Imagine a tiny plant turning into that. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had that baby in the ground. It needed to be trimmed down, my rosemary was drowning.
A few snips later and here we have some mint ready for drying.
A quick wash and I started pulling. Mint works like most herbs when you need to get the leaves off quick. Hold at the top and run your fingers down the stem. The leaves come right off.
Since I live in Europe and my oven is in Celsius. I put mine in at 80°C for about 4 hours. I checked on them every hour. Opening the oven loses heat, so take that as you will. They need to be dried in the oven because mint has a high moisture content. Air drying could result in moldy mint – no one wants that. For my U.S. friends, set your oven to around 180°F. That should do it. 3-4 hours for you too.
It definitely doesn’t look like the same plant. Yep, not pretty either. This is what you want though. You want mint that crumbles when you touch it
Transfer to a sealed jar and voila, you have mint leaves that are ready for tea.
The picture at the top shows my tea infuser for loose leaf tea. I love it. If you don’t have one, they are not incredibly expensive and are worth it, in my opinion. This is the one I have:
I used 2 loose Tablespoons of tea leaves in my tea. The flavor is really amazing and refreshing.
It’s not too late to plant mint at home. You will have a giant crop very soon just waiting to be harvested for tea.