Thank you to Nina’s for this lovely sample tea!
Many of the friends that I had to leave behind in California when I moved to Colorado are from the Middle East and North Africa. They taught me to make (and love) gunpowder green tea with fresh mint and LOTS of sugar! (I am not exaggerating at all about the sugar!)
One of my favorite memories was sitting with my friend Randa in an Arabic Tea House in San Francisco, sipping mint tea and eating pastries. We talked for hours as our tall teapot of mint leaves was filled and refilled many times with boiling water. The tea tray had a large bowl of sugar on it to suppliment the sweetened tea in the pot.
It was wonderful!
I always grow mint just so that I can recreate that tea experience when the mood is right and the day is hot enough. (The tea is best on a hot day!)
Prepackaged mint tea’s are usually not strong enough. Mint has a way of losing it’s punch when dry.
I decided to brew the tea in my Verdant glass beaker steeper, which holds 7oz water because the leaves are rolled and I wanted to watch the tea expand.
1TB dry tea soon filled the beaker with green leaves and golden tea, which when drained was half filled with expanded leaves.
The golden liquor tasted stronger than I had expected, with mint and slight smokiness from the gunpowder tea.
Right away, I heavily sweetened the tea as my friends do.
Although I much prefer the fresh leaves (and who wouldn’t), this is pretty good. I’ve only had one other mint tea of this kind that had enough body to drink in the traditional manner.
(Now my mind is beginning to wonder about culinary applications…)