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.

20 Responses to “Drying peppermint for tea”

  1. Frogdancer October 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    My Aldi dehydrator has 4 levels (none of them transparent). Does yours have extra levels?

    I love it. I’ve been drinking lemon verbena and lime verbena tea all winter!!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Yes it does, but I remove them when I’m only drying small portions. I haven’t actually used the dehydrator much yet, but I’ve been really pleased with it when I have. I’ve never tried any type of verbena tea.

  2. Daphne October 3, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I dehydrate mint and chamomile every year for tea. I think I didn’t do enough peppermint this year. Oh well.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      What type of chamomile Daphne? I’ve been considering it, but not sure which one.

      • Daphne October 5, 2012 at 6:52 am #

        Bodegold chamomile. I grew just some generic one at my old house. I really can’t tell much of a difference.

      • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 5, 2012 at 10:49 am #

        Thanks. I must get around to that.

  3. Veggiegobbler October 3, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I’ve never noticed the aldi dehydrator. Will keep my eyes out from now on. I have loads of peppermint at the moment so I might do the same- but I’ll use the air and hang them. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Gavin Webber October 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi L, great idea but as I don’t have a dehydrator, I just grab a handful of fresh leaves, and another of stevia and throw them in my coffee plunger. I top up with boiling water and it makes a fantastic minty brew!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Fresh works well, I agree. I don’t sweeten my peppermint tea though. Thanks Gav for the Facebook linkup.

  5. Helen October 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Oh that peppermint rehydrates fantastically! I really must get some peppermint in the garden.

  6. Liz October 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Great idea – I haven’t dried mint before and I accidentally killed my peppermint but these things are easily recified. I also need to get a dehydrator or wait for a warm day. I don’t shop at Aldi regularly so I always seem to miss these great things they have. Veggiegoobler got a yoghurt maker there that she rates too.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

      My peppermint isn’t without it’s problems – another post coming about that. I think a warm day is a great idea- much better to use that great solar powered dehydrator rather than my (indirectly) coal-powered one!

  7. Yvonne October 4, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I eat my pepper/common mints as fresh in Vietnamese rice paper rolls, they are decicious with dipping sauce + lecttuce + prawn + pork + vermicillin

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 5, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      I love rice paper rolls too. The kids think it is so fun to make them with me while sampling the ingredients, although they strangely don’t seem to be hungry anymore by the time dinner is actually ready. Funny thing that…

  8. Louise October 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Nice. I think I could go a dehydrator. Have you tried drying tomatoes? That’s what I fancy…

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 5, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      Well I would have if I had had any spare tomatoes at all last summer 😦 Actually I was struggling to use the winter ones and I didn’t think of it at the time – silly me!

  9. Digging up the dirt October 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    I have to say I hadn’t put any thought into drying mint either. Stupid really as I buy it in. Thanks for the tip. Ooo and I have brewed a batch of rhubarb fizz after I read your blog entry, it still has a week to go.

  10. sarahskitchenadventures October 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    I am keen to grow some stevia but my plant died, so I have to try again. Even if you’re not into sweetened tea, the leaves are delightfully sweet, so they’d be nice chopped up in fruit salad or blended into smoothies. The kids might strip it bare once they work out its alternative name is sugar plant! 🙂

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney October 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

      Ah yes. Little D has been monstering my strawberries – I imagine a stevia plant would be in trouble.

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