Peppermint Tea – A Minty Boost of Goodness

Hailing from the Mediterranean, peppermint leaves have a regal history, as they once decorated the brows of ancient Greek and Roman personalities. Over the years, the minty sensations of peppermint made its way into the drinking cups of people looking for a refreshing beverage. Today, the natural, caffeine-free taste of peppermint tea is a popular way for drinkers to relax or ease into their nighttime slumber.

Peppermint Tea Blends

The distinct flavor of peppermint tea creates an array of blends that satisfy tea drinkers seeking a light, aromatic beverage. Sometimes, peppermint tea brews strong and goes well with honeybush chocolate or vanilla in order to tone down the flavor. Other peppermint tea combinations include Chocolate Peppermint (from Stash Teas), Ginger-Peppermint (Alvita Teas), Mint Medley (spearmint and peppermint blend from Bigelow), Organic Chai Peppermint (Uncle Lee’s Teas), and Lemon Peppermint (Bonkers Super Skinny Tea).

How to Make Fresh Peppermint Tea

Consumed hot or cold, peppermint tea is made by steeping the dried leaves of the plant in boiling water. If you have a garden, you’re in luck. Select a few worthy peppermint leaves from your plants and lay out on a tray in one large heap – placed in direct sunlight. Rip the leaves several times and spread the leaves out to dry in the sun for 24 hours or longer. The leaves are ready when they are dry and crunchy. Boil water and pour over about two tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves. Cover and let steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Add about five fresh bruised leaves the liquid, and then strain into your cup.

The Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea

In addition to providing a tasty experience, peppermint tea also delivers a host of health benefits to drinkers. Peppermint differs from other mints because it contains a volatile oil with healing properties. The tea offers the strength and advantages of menthol (a therapeutic component), as well as 40 other compounds. People often drink the tea after dinner because it aids in digestion and can curb acid reflux. Other benefits of peppermint tea include:

  • Treat cases of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ease pangs of nausea and vomiting
  • Control flatulence
  • Dissolve gallstones
  • Help control mild cases of asthma
  • Fights stress and fatigue
  • Lessen the blow of herpes outbreaks
  • Battle bad breath
  • Control muscle aches and chronic pain
  • Break up congestion and relieve coughing associated with allergies and the common cold

January is Hot Tea Month

Did you know that January is Hot Tea Month? If you’re a tea enthusiast, this is the perfect time to tip a cup of steaming pekoe or experience the smoothness of chocolate chai for a celebration centered on a brew wildly popular across the globe. To go beyond your normal tea-drinking activities, consider the following suggestions for how to enjoy the rest of Hot Tea Month:

Try an Exotic Tea

Step outside your boundaries. If you’re a loyal black tea drinker, try sampling green, white or red varieties. You might just find a new favorite. Pay a visit to a local tearoom. For example, Shaharazade’s Exotic Tea Room located at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, offers a host of specialty teas, such as Kyoto Cherry Rose and Mango with pieces of fruit and sunflower petals.

photo courtesy of Andrzej Pobiedziński
Make Your Own Herbal Infusion

Herbal teas use herbs, spices, flowers and other plant parts to create a brew perfect for people looking for a caffeine-free beverage. In many circles, herbal infusions are used for medicinal purposes. To make your own, choose one or more herbs. Add 20 grams dried herb or 30 grams fresh herb to a warmed teapot. Fill with 500 milliliters of boiling water. Replace the lid and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain some of the infusion into a cup and sweeten with a teaspoon of honey, if desired.

Buy a New Tea Set

From Chinese themed jade teapots to artisan crafts, tea sets come in an array of decorative sizes, colors and shapes. There are no limits to the creative construction and embellishments of teapots and teacups from around the world. Search eBay, Amazon and other online sellers for new and used treasures for teatime.

Sweet Treats

Make teatime in January a special event with your favorite cookies, biscuits or biscotti. Settle down with an assortment of sweet treats and take time to ponder the coming year. Archer Farms has a delicious powdery chai tea biscuit perfect for a cup of strong black tea.

Tea for Two

Reconnect with loved ones over tea for two – the perfect bonding experience between mothers, older daughters and sisters. Bring out your finest teacups and create a decorative spread. Dole out an assortment of light sandwiches served on thinly sliced bread and cut into triangles – no crusts. Cucumber sandwiches are a favorite, but you can experiment with smoked salmon, watercress or chicken salad. Add shortbread, lemon wafers or homemade gingersnaps into the mix. Offer honey, sugar, lemon, cream and milk to dress up your tea.