Fresh mint and/or lemon verbena make for a simple, delicious tea for any time of day, served hot or chilled.
When I heard Alice Waters interviewed on Milkstreet Radio , and Christopher Kimball asked what her favorite recipe was, without hesitation she responded that is was fresh mint tea, because there are just two ingredients and one of them is water, I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. Not only because it’s funny coming from a woman who makes such delicious food, but also because it epitomizes her Art of Simple Food philosophy, and I happen to love fresh mint tea! I make it all the time in my glass teapot with stainless steel strainer in the lid – it allows me to use dry or fresh anything without having to have a tea bag or strainer as the lid filters everything out. A French press also works well for this preparation and I use that myself for more servings when we have company. It’s presented this way – with the herbs filling and floating in the clear glass teapot for you to admire – at two of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley – Chez Panisse and Iyasare. Sometimes they use just mint, other times with lemon verbena, which I grow in my potted herb garden just for this reason. It’s quite delicious using either or both herbs, and also wonderful chilled for an especially refreshing glass of water. After steeping, transfer to a big jar or pitcher, add more fresh filtered water and chill. I like to take the used herbs out before serving and add a garnish of lemon wheel or a sprig to maximize the effect.
Fresh Mint and/or Lemon Verbena Tea, Hot or Chilled
- Tea pot with strainer or french press.
- 6-8 sprigs Fresh Mint and/or Lemon Verbena
- 3-4 cups boiling water depending on size of your pot
- Simply place fresh mint and/or lemon verbena in your teapot, french press or a pot and pour boiling water over.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Pour tea into cup and serve. Lemon wheel optional.
- To serve cold, pour into larger container with the herbs included, and add 4 more cups of fresh cold water. Let chill for at least 1 hour or overnight and serve with lemon wheel or fresh sprig if desired.