Iced Mint Tea is tasty and wonderfully refreshing. It has become my obsession this summer. And by obsession, I mean that I drink it three times a day. Literally with every meal. If you love mint tea and think you can only order it at hipster restaurants, I have good news for you. It’s super easy to make yourself.
In order to make good mint tea, it’s best to start with a great brand. My personal favorite is Red Diamond Tea, which has been located here in the Birmingham area since 1906. It is a black tea, and it has a classic, clean taste which is never bitter. I use the quart size tea bags. If Red Diamond Tea isn’t available in your area and you’d like to try it, you can order it online. They will ship to almost every state in the US. You can order it here.
I use Red Diamond Tea for my regular sweet tea as well and I’ve been drinking it since I was 12 years old.
In addition to its great taste, black tea has many health benefits. It is high in antioxidants, can boost heart health, has anti-aging benefits, can reduce the risk for stroke, may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and even possibly reduce the risk of cancer. Mint can improve digestion, provide relief from fatigue and depression, and improve memory. Now I feel more compelled than ever to drink it.
We planted mint several years ago and it comes back beautifully every spring. I prefer peppermint, but we have a small amount of spearmint, too, and sometimes I will add a sprig of that to my tea as well in order to achieve a greater depth of minty flavor. Mint tends to be quite prolific and invasive, so be careful where you plant it. Ours occupies a planter to itself. If you don’t have fresh mint at home, you can buy it at the grocery store.
I am presently researching how to grow it indoors so I won’t experience mint tea withdrawals during the winter. I will post my findings later.
I use about 6 sprigs of peppermint, sometimes with the one extra sprig of spearmint. I wash them and drain them on paper towels.
I recently read that using the whole sprig of mint can make your tea bitter, so I experimented and just used the leaves in a few gallons. I don’t really recommend it, though. I found that the leaves alone don’t add enough mint flavor, so I went back to adding the whole sprig. The mint flavor was much more prominent and was not bitter at all.
Using just the leaves is also a little more labor intensive.
Along with the mint, I use two of the quart size tea bags.
Boil 8 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Yes, I posted a picture of water boiling. You never know who might need that
Add the mint sprigs with the tea to the boiling water. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to steep for at least two hours. I’ve steeped it for as long as four hours.
After steeping, place a strainer on a gallon sized tea pitcher. Pour the tea and mint through the strainer into the pitcher. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Then fill the pitcher to the top with water and stir. Place in the fridge. The flavor intensifies as it chills. I got this snazzy pitcher at Walmart.
(If you prefer to use artificial sweetener, I don’t know how much to recommend for a gallon of tea because I never use it).
But really, it’s good with everything.
- 8 cups water
- 6 peppermint sprigs, washed
- 2 quart size tea bags
- 1 and ½ cups sugar
- water to fill pitcher
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan.
- Once boiling, add mint and tea and remove from heat.
- Cover and steep for 2-4 hours.
- Strain into a gallon size pitcher.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Fill pitcher with water and stir.
- Place in refrigerator.
- Chill for several hours or overnight before serving.