During the weekdays we are all hard at work on the nursery, but at half past ten, everything grinds to a halt for the good old traditional tea break. Whilst some of us prefer the standard cuppa, there is a fair amount of herbal tea made as well. It is very easy; simply use about a teaspoon of fresh leaves, no need to chop them, in a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Putting a plate or saucer on top of the cup will preserve more of the volatile oils, making the tea better in flavour and retaining its medicinal value. Strain if you like or just sip around the leaves, they often sink to the bottom anyway, or you can eat them.
The most popular ones are the mints, lemon verbena and balm, nettle, and fruity sages, on their own or in combinations. This led me to think it would be a good idea to have a mint tea-tasting tea break, and try out all our varieties on all our different taste buds and give you the results.
– Gentle and flowery with a good after taste. It has an overtone of chamomile and pot pourii. Everyone liked it.
– Smells nice. Taste is good but doesn’t longer for long. We reckon this one would be better served chilled with ice or as an addition to a fruit punch.
– Has a honey flavour, very creamy. Would be great frozen in ice cubes and added to Bourbon.
– Grassy kind of taste that makes your mouth go dry. The citrus flavour comes through; it would make a great sorbet.
– Voted one of the best. It has a very fruity flavour, good for all types of summer drinks including Pimms. Refreshing.
– Claire’s face says it all. Kind of sour and perfumed at the same time. It leaves a nice after taste that comes down your nose. Fantastic smell. This would be a good drink for winter, hot and sweetened.
– Earthy, warm, fresh flavour. Another one that would be nice in the winter, maybe with some added spices.
– Not a very pleasant smell with little flavour. Best left for its ornamental value.
– Pretty much the same as silver mint.
– A unique smell with aniseed taste. We all disagreed on this, some loved the strong taste others hated it. The flavour sticks in your throat for a long time afterwards.
– Tastes as it smells. Very fragrant. Use sparingly in desserts and ice cream.
– Refreshing and drinkable. We have tried this with fresh fruit juices and it works well. Also good chilled.
– Sharp taste and immediately minty. Refreshes the mouth. We thought this would be nice sweetened but I think that’s because we are used to this flavour in products like chewing gum.
– Divine was the verdict. Smooth and rich, with a caramel hint. Very refreshing.
– Wow, tea was green rather than yellow, lots of volatile oils. It is a palette cleanser, which is why the oil is used in after dinner mints. Memorable.