Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mint Tea



It all started two weeks ago. I felt the beginning of an itch inside my throat. I knew the feeling. I felt a bout of cough coming. I put up my line of defense. I drank more liquid, took double dosage of Vitamin C. But the cough still attacked. Accompanied by runny nose and cold, they conquered my body. During the height of their victory, I was coughing non-stop. My forehead was heavy. It was hard to sleep at night. Of course my Hubby's sleep was disturbed as well. Last Sunday, I was to teach Sunday School. I could not call in sick because the Song leader had already called in sick. Besides, I have already prepared my lessons and the powerpoints. I think I was concentrating on the presenting the lessons too much, I did not notice I was coughing most of the time, until my boss - the head of Junior Worship team, gave me a cup of warm water to drink while I was in the middle of my lesson. It was comforting. It was humbling. But I still had to continue my lessons.

Slowly, my body fought back. Ever so slowly, the cough subsided little by little. I remembered the warm water. And I thought if I added mint to warm water, it would be soothing to the throat. What if I make mint tea, instead? Fortunately, I bought several mint seedlings from the plant nursery a few months back. Up to now, I have not used them yet. This picture was taken when the plants were newly bought. The seedlings have grown a little bigger and now have branches that run down the pots, and with more and bigger leaves.




Isn't it great to have your own little garden of herbs in this busy city? I really appreciate my mini-garden pots all the more when I got sick (well, I'm still recovering and drinking this tea everyday.) Since it is not convenient to go out, it is just perfect to cut up some leaves and use them as herbal therapy.


At first, I only gathered several leaves. Probably around two tablespoons worth. When I steeped them with black tea in my 500 ml (half-liter) coffee press, the resulting tea was not minty enough. Well, at least for me. So, the next time, I gathered more, and still not minty enough! The third time around, I gathered a lot, around half a cup worth of mint leaves. Now, that resulting tea was finally minty enough for me.

In the coffee press or tea kettle, add in:

3 T black tea leaves, blanched
1/2 C mint leaves, cleaned

Pour in freshly boiled water and steep for 4 minutes. With the coffee press, pour out the liquid and drink warm.


Drink warm if you want to soothe your throat. But I think this can be a refreshing drink when cold and with ice added. You can also adjust the amount of leaves according to taste.

You may be wondering why I blanch my tea leaves. These are loose tea leaves, not in tea bags. I do not think you need to blanch the tea bags. I pour a little amount of boiling water into the tea leaves, just enough that all leaves are submerged, then, swirl the leaves and water together, and pour the hot water out. I will only drink the brew of the second (or third) hot water. This is to make sure the leaves are "cleaned." Am I considered an obsessive-compulsive then? My mother said she knew of an Auntie who makes this blanching and cleaning three times. Do you blanch your tea leaves, too? When I made lemongrass and ginger tea before, a reader commented that I did the right thing because blanching the tea leaves first would remove as much as 80 percent of the caffeine content of the teas!!! This is an example of how sometimes being obsessive-compulsive pays in the end! :)


Sharing this warm, soothing drink with the Grow Your Own Community, headed and hosted this time by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes. It is a twice-a-month blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products.To see last edition's round-up, please check out Gay, a molecular biologist at A Scientist in the Kitchen.

18 comments:

mikky said...

so glad to hear that you're better... guess it's the weather huh... you take care... :) btw, since i don't have mint herb here, i usually buy Gold Leaf Mint Tea... very soothing too...

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Sorry to hear that you've been under the weather lately but glad to hear that it's getting better. Drink up, rest, and take care.

anudivya said...

I would love to have my own garden, but here it is kind of not feasible.
The tea looks very soothing. TC.

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Hi Mikky! Yes, I have tried their Mint tea bags. That was also one of the "spurces" of the idea of making my own mint tea. :)

Thanks JS! :)

Thanks Anudivya! Actually, the weather and soil here in Manila is not good for vegetable plants, too. Unless I have a greenhouse. :) That is why I can only grow a limited number of herbs and plants that are hardy enough to withstand drought and the tropical weather. :)

A scientist in the kitchen said...

Great idea for the mint leaves. I just might do that. I also have a lot of mint growing in the garden and still thinking on what dish to use them with. Tea would be perfect. Oh, and they also go well with fruit shakes.

Gay

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks for the idea, Gay! I just might try that when this nasty cough goes away... :)

Ivy said...

It seems you were also having problems with blogger yesterday as I could not leave you a message. I wanted to tell you that in Cyprus we also drink mint tea as well and it is equally good with dried mint.

http://kopiaste.org/2007/11/how-doi-dry-mint/

Andrea's Recipes (Grow Your Own) said...

I also like to make fresh mint tea. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon and honey, too. This sounds very comforting!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks Ivy! Maybe when the mint plants grow more leaves again, I can try to dry them. :)

Thanks Andrea for the tip! The lemon and honey sound good! Why didn't I think of that? :)

tigerfish said...

A mint tea like this will really make you feel better...and you should not be cooking and blogging too much now. Just sip the tea and take more rests. Then you can have more action in the kitchen again :)

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Yes, Tigerfish, I have not been consistently blogging these past two weeks... :) Thank you so much for your advice :)

noobcook said...

I have a mint plant though it's so underused... hehe .. I didn't know they are good for colds, thanks for the tip. Hope you are all well now :)

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks Noobcook! I'm feeling better now.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Just a piece of advice: when feeling the onset of colds and cough, the best thing to do is drink liquids, but DO NOT exceed/overdose on your Vitamin C. Why? Too much vit. C can harm the liver, but also, overdosing on vitamins triggers a reaction in the body: the blood flushes out the vitamins through sweat and urine, thus expelling most of that vitamin. In other words, you would end up losing more vitamins than what you take in.

The best thing to do is to make sure that the environment is clean (free of smoke, dust, fur, etc) and that you do NOT take irritating foods such as vinegar, pineapple juice, too much salt, chili, etc.

Thanks!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Thanks for the tip, Anonymous! The old advise is to take double dose of Vit C when we are feeling under. I guess your advise makes more sense. :)

viagra online said...

I love to drink mint tea because it relaxes me. Moreover, I heard it is good for our health to drink hot mint tea before sleeping.

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xlpharmacy said...

I love a good cup of tea in the mornings, much better than coffee, and I think it is healthier than coffee.

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