Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mint Tea

Kel from Green Olive Tree is our host for Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have a very fragrant herb - Mint.

mint

Growing up I was mint deprived - it wasn't a herb my mother used in Italy so she didn't use it here. Not that I complained about missing out, a hospital stay as a child and some minted peas later ensured my dislike of mint - hospital food would ensure a dislike of any food served there.

Oddly enough, "sweet mint" flavours weren't a problem, you certainly couldn't keep me away from mint ice-cream but heaven help even the thought of those "savoury" mint flavours. Luckily, I grew up and learnt to appreciate all flavours and uses of mint.

Mint is one of those plants that seem to grow in the tiniest of cracks without a drop of water - they are weed-like in their ability to survive and multiply. There are hundreds of varieties of Mint and they grow just about everywhere.

Historically, Mint was used as an aid to digestion and as a diuretic. Nutritionally, it contains Vitamins A, C, Folate and Niacin along with Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

For this week's recipe I've sought to make something refreshing - summer has decided to hit us one last time and has brought a mini heat-wave to town. I can't complain too much as February was actually quite mild and summer in general hasn't been as bad as it has in the past.

I've decided to make a Mint Tea - inspired greatly by Moroccan Mint Tea but as I am not Moroccan nor have I been to Morocco, I won't be claiming any authenticity to this recipe.

To make the tea I'll be using this - Gunpowder Green Tea

81DSC_1563.jpg

and the first thing you'll notice is that it isn't green! It's resemblance to gunpowder pellets is said to be how it got it's English name.

I've noticed that in traditional Moroccan recipes a hard rock sugar is used and since I don't have access to that, I've used use raw sugar. This recipe also produces a tea that isn't as sweet as you would find as personally, I don't take sugar in regular tea - so keep that in mind if you decide to make this.

mint tea


Mint Tea

1 tablespoon Gunpowder green tea
1 tablespoons raw sugar (use more or less to taste)
2 cups water
large handful mint leaves
extra mint leaves for serving

Place the tea, sugar, mint leaves and water into a pot and slowly bring to just under boiling point - stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let it bubble for a few minutes before taking it off the heat - then let it steep for 5 minutes.

mint leaves

Add fresh mint leaves to your glasses and using a strainer, pour the tea over the leaves.

As it's hot I've made an iced version - I've just let the tea steep until cool and added ice cubes to my glass along with the extra mint leaves.



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12 comments:

  1. Iced mint tea sounds perfect for this weather!

    I was interested to hear you never had mint in savoury meals when growing up - my mum (anglo-celtic) would often send us to the garden to get mint for a mint sauce she would serve with roast meat of some kind (as I don't eat meat I haven't taken much interest in these family traditions and can't tell you what)

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  2. Gorgeous photos! My mint was just starting to show some new green leaves coming out and then we got more snow, so we're having a last blast of winter while you have a last blast of summer. I have actually had mint tea in Morocco and it's very refreshing and delicious. This version sounds wonderful.

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  3. Growing up I always insisted on planting mint in the garden and it would take over. My parents finally just gave me my own little garden so I could go to town with planting herbs. Mint in tea is the best! Gorgeous photos!

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  4. lovely pictures you've got there. Thanks for sharing this. Can't get enough of fresh mint leaves...you can do so much with them!

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  5. Mint tea is one of my favourite things to have after dinner in the summer. We've always made it without any actual tea though - just the mint leaves.

    I bet green tea is a nice addition. As soon as the snow melts (if??) and our garden mint is once again available, we'll have to try your version.

    -Elizabeth

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  6. Hi Johanna - Paalo has informed me that the meat in question would have been lamb, as a Pom he had a similar diet to yours - lamb is also another of those things I never ate growing up, it wasn't a meat my mother used in italy, so we never had it here.

    Thanks Kalyn - this was very refreshing so if the weather continues I'll be drinking more of this.

    Thanks Ginny!

    Thanks Kel!

    Thanks Elizabeth - I hope you enjoy this version!

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  7. Hi Haalo,

    That drink looks delicious! I thought you may like to know that you can often get the rock sugar in Asian supermarkets. There is one next to the Vic Market where I have bought the rock sugar before.

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  8. Thanks Babylee - I've seen rock sugar at the Asian grocer at Prahran Market but I'm not sure if its the same type of sugar that is used in Morocco.

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  9. zoe / pukuMarch 20, 2008

    beautiful mint photos, Haalo! and from memory, on the Food Safari Moroccan episode they made mint tea with gunpowder tea, so looks pretty authentic to me! :)

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  10. Thanks Zoe - in the end, if it tastes good, that's the most important thing and hopefully I got close to the original.

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  11. I really appreciate your mint tea recipe. On one side of my house I have a 2' by 20' garden filled with mint, so any mint recipe is well received on this end. Mint tea, mint pie, mint deodorant....

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  12. Thanks Moxley - as you're coming into summer I'm sure large pots of iced mint tea would be ideal

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