A cup of peppermint tea refreshes you in the summer and warms you in the winter, and if your stomach is uncomfortable, helps soothe it. The best mint tea is that which you grow in your own garden. I have a small patch of orange mint, chocolate mint and water mint. A couple sprigs in ice water is nice on hot days; a few torn leaves can perk up a salad; but the best use is tea.
Here is the easiest way ever devised to dry mint or any other herb. Cut the mint before it flowers. Drop the stems into a paper grocery sack. Fill the sack(s) only 1/3 of the way because every day you will shake the sack to tumble its contents. If you keep the sack indoors where the sun won't hit it, your herbs will maintain their best potency. (Right now my whole house smells like mint.)
After a few days, you'll notice that the drying leaves sound scratchy. When they crumble in your hand, it is time to remove the stems. Pick up each stem and pull it between the thumb and forefinger of your free hand. The leaves will fall off and you can discard the stems. If they don't come off entirely, they need to dry a little longer. After removing the stems, you may keep the leaves in the sack one more day making sure they are entirely dry before storing in air-tight containers.
Every summer I cut and dry mint at least once. Even after giving some away, I never use it all. Already this year I have done two cuttings. What am I going to do with all this mint tea? Would you like some? If you e-mail me your address, I'll send you a cellophane packet of whichever kind you want. Use form at right to e-mail me.
Orange mint will be enhanced by adding a bit of orange peel, and chocolate mint will be better with a bit of cocoa power added. I have them mixed or separate. Water mint has the strongest flavor. I can promise you that this home grown mint will be cleaner and better flavored than any you buy in tea bags.
If you want, I'll send you a few roots to start your own mint patch.