14 August 2011

Bergamot iced tea

The best summer tea is organic bergamot from my garden. This mint produces dense whorls of rose-purple flower spikes, and sometimes (but not always) there are flowers between the upper leaves.  It grows in moist ground or other wet places like stream edges (or my garden hose bib) blooming from July to November, and is naturalized from Europe. 

You may gather the fresh mint at any time of day, I like to pick it when I go outside in the morning to  check the weather. Mint iced tea can be made with most garden varieties of mint, each has a distinctively refreshing flavor.

1. Gather: with your kitchen shears, clip a handful of stems (get a few extra to pop in a little vase, the leaves smell so good). 
2. Clean: first shake the mint outside, then rinse it in cold running water while you put a kettle on to boil  (I love my Capresso Boiler).
3. Steep: when the water boils pour it over the mint stems in your favorite teapot and steep. I like mine unsweetened, but if you prefer yours sweet, add your sweetener of choice while the water is hot and the sugar or honey will easily dissolve. 
4. Enjoy: pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with lemon wedge if desired. 

Greetings from Planet Joy!