Spearmint St. Helen - Health Tisane
A cool fresh taste that takes your breath away. In the book "The Taste of Morocco," Robert Carrier notes that mint tea is used to "cure insomnia, calm the nerves, sharpen the senses and wake up those who are drowsing".
HEALTH PROPERTIES: Contains anti-oxidants.
CAFFEINE LEVELS: Caffeine Free
TEA SOURCING: Washington State.
INGREDIENTS: Spearmint Leaves, 1st Grade, Autumn Harvest, Cut and Sift
THE STORY OF SPEARMINT ST. HELEN
Our spearmint is sourced from Washington State. A hardy plant which originally grew in the Mediterranean, but was exported to both Britain and the United States, spearmint has thrived in both Washington and Oregon since the eruption of Mount St. Helen.
Mint has an amazing variety of colors, aspects and aromas. The basic odor is fresh, piquant and peppery, but can vary with each type of mint. All varieties of mint belong to the same botanical family, Labiatae, and their lavender or rose-colored flowers blossom all summer long. In an early Greek myth, Pluto, also known as Hades, had a wandering eye. When his wife Persephone saw he was besotted with a young nymph names Menthe, she turned turned the lovely woman into a plant. Distraught, and unable to reverse his wife's spell, Pluto infused the plant with the aroma and taste we know so well, naming it after her - "Menthe" or "Mint." Armed with this story, Hippocrates warned men to use mint cautiously.
Spearmint, mentha spicata, also known as garden mint, balm mint or Notre-Dame mint, is one of the most well known and commonly found varieties. Its narrow leaves are deep green and its flowers are grouped together in pointed "spearhead" formation. Spearmint is appreciated for its digestive properties and ability to relieve nausea especially due to motion sickness. It is often used for relief from headaches and tension. Inhaling the steam from a double strength infusion will help relieve nasal congestion. Mint tea can also be used in compresses to soothe itching and inflammation.
Spearmint is lovely when blended with lime, but also works marvelously with balm, green anise, vervain, orange blossom and licorice. Mint is a traditional drink in North Africa and the Middle East and is always served to welcome friends, family or visitors from afar. It pairs well with green tea.
BREWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOT TEA: Infuse one slightly heaping teaspoon for each 8 ounce cup with water brought to a rolling boil (85 degrees Celcius) for 3-7 minutes.
Infuse 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of tea with 1 1/4 cups of boiling water for 7 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water, and add the infused tea, straining the leaves, to the pitcher. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Add lemon and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
Infuse 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea with 6 ounces of boiling water for 7 minutes. Add the tea to a 12 ounce glass, filled with ice, straining the leaves. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Add lemon and sweeten to taste.
NUMBER OF CUPS: 15-20 cups from each 50 grams of tea, with a single use of the leaves. Loose leaf tea is traditionally infused 3 times, with a different flavor profile following each infusion. Accordingly, each 50 gram bag can make up to 60 cups of tea.