Sunday, May 27, 2012

Garden Tea

Since we had nearly two weeks of unseasonably HOT weather back in March, I have had a beautiful stand of mint for several weeks now. Long enough to have everyone in the house accustomed to having iced garden tea in the refrigerator at all times. You know, I grew up just calling this mint tea, but no one else seems to call it that around here. I say mint tea and they think I'm talking about a hot beverage. Most others I know who make it call it Garden Tea. I don't know why.
I start by picking tender, fresh leaves of my crop. It's easy now, but later in the summer, the lower leaves seem to get chewed on by some unseen insect, so I stick to the freshest top leaves of each stalk. I wash them and put them in a pot with a quart or so of water and let it simmer. Oh, I also throw in one teabag of decaffienated tea, just so the finished product has some color and doesn't look like I'm serving my guests urine.
When my tea looks as stout as I like for the concentrate, I remove it from heat and let it cool to room temperature, during which it seems to deepen in color and flavor, which is good. I pour it into my pitcher, which is a two-quart contatiner. I fill it the rest of the way with water and add some sugar to taste. I sweeten the whole pitcher, since that is the way my family likes it, but I don't find that it takes much sweetening, what with the coolness and refreshment that the mint already offers. About 1/4-1/3 of a cup is all that it needs. Chill.
Serve over ice. Garnish with more of that fresh mint. Don't worry. You'll have enough. It spreads like weeds.

1 comment:

  1. wow, that final photo is beautiful!

    We call this "meadow tea" around here, or my dad calls it "ditch tea" because it grows everywhere along the roads. Some people say it has to be the fuzzy leaf variety. In my garden, I have what you showed in your post.

    And I am so very very sad to say that mint causes my acid reflux to act up. I'm going to have to stick to black tea. Think I am unselfish enough to make meadow tea for my family??


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