Archive | 10:31 pm

Drying peppermint for tea

2 Oct

I was given a lovely peppermint plant for my birthday. In the 2 months since then it has grown extremely quickly. So much so that it has reached the limits of the pot and needs a good trim back.

I’ve found that I need more peppermint leaves that I first imagined to make a decent pot of tea, so while the plant is prolific I thought it was a good opportunity to harvest as many leaves as possible for storage. That way I can cut the plant back hard, I’ll get a good supply of tea, and the plant will have room to re-grow.

I cut the growth back as hard as I could with a pair of scissors, putting the leaves into a large bowl of water to soak. That way any dust and debris will wash off along with any lingering bugs. I plucked off any damaged leaves and discarded.

I spread the leaves out in my dehydrator and put it on the lowest setting (35 degrees). I believe that a low oven will do the same thing, but I haven’t tried it. You could also just hang whole springs out in an airy place, or peg them onto a clothes airer.

My dehydrator was from Aldi. Once a year or so they have them for sale for $40.

Well worth the price considering you can also dry fruit, vegetables and herbs.

After the mint leaves were dry (about 8 hours or overnight) I simply stripped the leaves off the stems and put them into an airtight canister. Make sure that they are completely dry before you do this or it will go mouldy.

You will need at least a heaped teaspoon of dried leaves for a pot of tea.

It re-hydrates back to the lovely fresh green colour it started as.