Saturday, October 23, 2010

DIY Mint or lemon balm tea

One of my many mint plants

I keep my tea in mason jars away from the light. Just wanted to show you how pretty my mason jars were.
Home grown tea is really the best tea you can drink. I love it because it pays for itself the first year you plant it. Its super cheap and very yummy. 

1.  Be sure to pick baby leaves before your plant starts to bloom flowers. Tea will be bitter if you use leaves after its blossomed. Pick only the tender baby leaves. I usually pick the top 3 leaves off each stem.
I picked up two buddies while I was picking today. I think Riley my dog smelled all the mint while she was taking her sun nap and my cat Tabby is just nosy.  She kept getting in my way of the mint so I would pet her but the smell bugged her. Sorry Tabby, maybe later.

2.  Once you have picked enough, put them into your dehydrator. Make sure they are not too crowded so they can dry properly. Dry your leaves until they are crunchy and have no moisture to them. I usually check them about once ever 30 minutes. There are several methods to drying things but I opted to borrow my neighbors fancy one because its super fast. 
 3. Once fully dried you can put them into any glass container and they will last pretty much forever. To enjoy your tea ball strainer or even your regular coffee pot. Just put your tea in your coffee filter and make as usual.  As always I stick my used up tea leaves into my compost.  The below picture shows peppermint on the left and lemon balm on the right.  Can you see my groovy harvest gold counter tops? What can I say, my house is old.  Since its so old I thought I would find dinner ware to match lol.

Just look at this yummy tea!

4. Enjoy as is or add your favorite sweetener. My personal favorite honey is Wessels because its local to me and I grew up in Forest Grove where Wessels is located. We use a ton of honey and Wessels makes 5lb containers of it. Its color is just gorgeous. One teaspoon into my cup and i'm a happy mama. 
I just want to note that the metal container of tea was given to me from a good friend Theresa. In exchange I gave her some of my home grown mint tea. She bought her tea off of Etsy. If you have not been on Etsy, go there now. You can find anything homemade or home grown there. From tea, to make up, to even toys. I bought my hand knitted wash clothes for only $3 there.  Love that site!

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