Each year, our garden is overflowing with mint. Mint plants are super hardy and excel at spreading, so once you have a bit planted, it will continue growing and come back year after year and you’ll find yourself with an abundance of fresh mint. There are numerous ways that we love to use mint, but making our own mint tea with the leaves might just be the top way. In addition to using fresh leaves to brew hot or iced tea, we also like to dry the fresh peppermint leaves (it’s so easy!) and store them in jars for using in the winter months. Whether you your own mint tea leaves (in the ground or in a pot), or you buy fresh mint leaves from the grocery store, we’ll show you the easiest methods for how to make your own mint tea!
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How to Make Tea With Fresh Mint
You can get fresh mint leaves by growing them in your garden (they’re so hardy and easy!) or growing mint indoors in a pot. You can also buy a handful of fresh mint leaves at most grocery stores or even (apparently) on Amazon (although I cannot vouch for the freshness of this option!).
The fresh flavor of homemade mint tea made with fresh mint leaves is definitely a level above using tea bags!
You can make your tea hot or iced, and in large or small batches. Here’s how:
Method #1: How to Make Hot Tea With Fresh Mint
Hot mint tea is perfect for chilly days. And a cup of warm, fresh peppermint tea is a comforting companion if you’re trying to soothe an upset stomach. You can make it in individual servings or large pots. Here’s how!
Step 1: Boil water
Start by adding water to a medium saucepan and bringing it to a rolling boil. You’ll need approximately 2 cups of hot water per serving, so adjust as necessary if you want to make a larger batch. Turn the water off after it starts boiling.
Step 2: Add mint leaves
Gently tear your mint leaves to release the aromas, then add them to your hot water. You’ll need about one handful of mint leaves per serving.
Step 3: Let it steep
The longer your let your tea steep, the stronger the flavor will be. 5-10 minutes is adequate.
Step 4: Drain and serve
Use a strainer to strain out the tea from the mint leaves. Add lemon slices or a bit of honey, or drink it plain. Enjoy!
Method #2 & #3: How to Make Iced Tea With Fresh Mint (5-Minute Method)
Since mint grows mostly during the warmer months, we love enjoying a cup of iced mint tea on a hot summer day. It’s a great way to cool down and enjoy all of the health benefits of mint at the same time! And nothing beats that fresh flavor!
There are two common ways to make iced tea with fresh mint: the 4-hour method, and the 5-minute method.
For the 4-hour method, you’ll follow the same steps above for making hot tea. Then, after you complete step 4 (drain and serve), let your tea cool to room temperature. After that, stick it in the fridge for about four hours until it’s nice and cold. This method works really well when you’re making a large pitcher and have time to plan in advance.
Tip: If you’re going to add honey, maple syrup, or sugar/brown sugar, make sure to add it while the tea is still hot, since it will dissolve MUCH better this way. You can also add a splash of lemon juice to give your tea a little more zing.
If you’re craving a cold drink right away or surprise guests show up and you need a quick cup of fresh mint tea, the 5-minute method is much more practical!
Step 1: Boil water
Using this method, you’ll half the water (or double the amount of tea leaves) in relation to the hot tea recipe (above).
For a single cup of tea, you’ll need one cup of boiling water.
For a pitcher, boil 8 cups of water.
Step 2: Add mint leaves
Gently tear your mint leaves to release the aromas, then add them to your hot water. You’ll need about one handful of mint per serving.
Step 3: Let it steep
Let the tea leaves steep for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Drain and sweeten (optional)
Drain the water from the mint leaves. This is where you can add any sweeteners of your choice – a splash of honey, sugar, agave nectar…whatever you want to create your perfect mint sweet tea!
Step 5: Pour over ice
Collect approximately the same amount of ice as you have hot water.
For a single serving, pour your one cup of hot tea over one cup of ice cubes.
For a pitcher full, pour your 8 cups of hot tea over approximately 8 cups of ice (or just fill your pitcher halfway with ice). You can also add cold water if you have extra space in your pitcher.
Serve with a slice of lemon and enjoy right away!
Method #4: How to Dry Mint For Tea
As much as we love fresh mint tea, this is probably our most-used method because it’s just so practical. Although our mint patch is only about 3″ x 3″, it produces so. much. mint. that we just cannot use it all while it’s fresh! Because of this, drying a whole bunch of mint and storing it in a glass jar for convenient winter teas just makes sense. It’s a great way to use up some of that extra fresh mint, and it’s super easy, too.
What you’ll need:
- A paper bag
- String or a way to hang your bag
- A dark, cool room
Note: You can also dry mint quickly using the dehydrator, oven, or air-dry bouquet method. The paper bag method just seems the easiest to me and has always worked well!
Step 1: Harvest your fresh mint
You can do this anytime you have fresh mint, but late spring, when the plant has the most oils, is generally when the flavor is best. Morning is also preferable, as some of the oils do evaporate in the hot sun.
Using a scissors, cut off the tops of your mint plants. Look for fresh, green leaves, and avoid cutting the woody parts that are lower on the plant.
Step 2: Store in a paper bag
After cutting your mint, you can toss it directly in a large paper bag.
Tip: It is important to avoid moisture, so don’t cut your mint first thing in the morning when there’s dew or after a rain. If it’s wet, lay it on a towel to dry before putting it in your paper bag. Additionally, don’t pack your bag too tight, since this doesn’t allow enough airflow and can cause moisture buildup. This is why a large bag works best!
Fold the bag over to close it and keep light out. It does not need to be airtight (in fact, it shouldn’t be!).
Step 3: Hang the bag in a dark, cool room
I use a hole punch or scissors to make small holes in the top of my bag. Then, thread some string or thin rope through these holes and hang the bag somewhere that is dark and not too hot. If you don’t have a basement, a closet works well!
For convenience, I usually hang ours in a closet right from the hanger dowel.
Step 4: Leave it alone and let it dry
This is the easy part! Leave your mint to dry for 1-2 weeks. When the mint crumbles easily in your hand, it’s ready to be stored.
Step 5: Crumble and store
Crumble the mint with your hand or with a mortar and pestle. Then, store in a small jar.
Note: It will make WAY less than you think! Herbs have a way of shrinking quite a lot after drying.
Step 6: Steep and serve
- To serve, boil two cups of water and add about 1 Tablespoon of dried mint.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Then, use a fine mesh strainer to separate the water from the dried mint, and pour it into a tea cup or mug.
- Add your sweeteners (if desired) and enjoy a hot cup of mint tea any time of the year!
Method #5: Bonus Recipe – Frozen Mint Tea (our favorite!)
Lastly, this is probably our favorite mint tea recipe. It’s a little outside the box, but somehow it works, and it creates a flavor that is just so fresh and sweet.
It also might be the easiest way to make fresh mint tea!
Step 1: Collect some fresh mint leaves
Grab a handful of mint leaves and stuff them in a quart-sized glass jar. Add as many as you can. You can rinse your leaves off first if you’d like (I don’t).
Step 2: Add a small amount of water (but not too much)
Take your jar inside and add just a couple of inches of cool water.
It’s really important that you don’t fill your jar with water, because it’s going to go in the freezer! We all know that water expands, so you should never FILL a jar that’s going in the freezer. But for some reason – and I don’t know why – the water tends to expand even more than usual in this recipe, and I’ve had multiple jars break even though I thought they had plenty of room for expansion.
Step 3: Stick it in the freezer
Put your jar in the freezer for at least a few days. The longer you leave your jar in the freezer, the stronger the flavor will be.
Step 4: Thaw and mix with hot water
After it’s finished steeping in the freezer (anywhere from a few days to many weeks), take it out and let it thaw.
Then, pour a couple of tablespoons of the steeped mint tea into a mug and fill it up the rest of the way with hot water. If there’s more water in your jar, just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
This method creates an incredibly sweet, strong tea using just mint leaves and water! If you try it, comment and let us know what you think!
Benefits of Mint Tea
Mint tea is an herbal tea that’s known for its many health benefits and is naturally caffeine free.
According to Healthline, some of the top benefits of mint tea are:
- Rich in nutrients, especially vitamin A and antioxidants
- Can help IBS and ease the digestive system
- Can mask bad breath and kill bacteria
We love it for the taste and how plentiful and easy to access it is, but the health benefits are definitely a bonus, too! Anytime we can use fresh herbs (especially right from the garden), it’s a win!
Can you use different kinds of mint for tea?
Yes! There are hundreds of different varieties of mint. Some of the most popular different types of mint you may want to try for tea include:
- Chocolate mint
- Orange mint
- Spearmint tea
- Lemon balm mint
Moroccan mint tea is another favorite, which is made by combining mint with green tea.
Can you use a french press for making mint tea?
Yes! A french press is an easy way to steep your tea. Just throw your mint leaves or dried mint in your french press, add hot water, steep for 5 minutes, and strain.
- Fresh mint leaves
- Optional: lemon, honey, sugar, or other sweeteners
- Boil water. Start by adding 2 cups of water per serving to a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Turn water off after it starts boiling.
- Add mint leaves. Gently tear your mint leaves and add them to your hot water. You'll need about one handful of mint per serving.
- Let it steep. Allow the mint to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Drain and serve. Use a strainer to strain out the tea from the mint leaves. Add lemon slices or a bit of honey, or drink it plain. Enjoy!
- For iced tea, use 1 cup of boiling water. Add mint, steep, and drain, then pour over 1 cup of ice.
Scroll up and read the blog post for 5 different ways to make mint tea! Try it hot, iced (2 ways), dried, or concentrated.