Country of Origin: USA
Region: Washington State.
Grade: Whole leaf, Cut (2nd Cut – best Cut) and Sifted.
Manufacture Type: Field grown, sun dried, machine milled.
Cup Characteristics: Pungent, cool, fresh, menthol.
Infusion: Tending yellowish green with a bright green infused leaf.
The best peppermint comes from the northwestern United States. The pure, moist mountain air of the spring and early summer growing season gives this peppermint some of the highest volatile oil counts of any member of the mint family. Generally (dependent upon weather patterns) the second cut (takes place during mid/end August) is the most flavourful, coolest and most pungent, (literally takes your breath away and makes your eyes water).
Peppermint is an herb and contains no caffeine. Quite often peppermint is consumed after meals as the oils stimulate the flow of bile to the stomach and helps relieve gas pains. Additionally, it has been reported and written that peppermint sweetens the breath and calms the digestive system, plus it helps heartburn, stomach ache and nausea. An interesting and tingling way to use peppermint is to place a handful of peppermint leaves in your bath water which will lower your body temperature - perfect for cooling fevered skin or after working on a hot summer’s day.
Peppermint is believed to be a hybrid species that evolved from spearmint and watermint. However, peppermint has been around so long its genealogy is obscure. It has been reported as a stewing herb by ancient Hebrews and it has been found in 3000 year old Egyptian tombs. 2000 years ago, the Japanese cultivated peppermint as a source of menthol. Peppermint is a primary ingredient in remedies used in the relief of gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, and local aches and pains. Because of its bright, pungent flavour, peppermint is often used to mask the unpleasant taste of various medicines. Peppermint tea is made from both the leaves and the flowers. As a hot tea it is cool and refreshing, as an iced tea the menthol content produces a pleasantly chilling taste sensation.
Peppermint is used extensively is various recipes. One of our favourites for 2 people is Banana Mint Slush.
1 ripe Banana, 1 teaspoon of Peppermint leaves, Grated peel of 1 lime, 1 cup of skim milk, 5 ice cubes
Place the banana in a blender and puree until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until slushy. Serve immediately. [Less than 100 calories)
Hot tea brewing method
Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of peppermint for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (Add more tea for a stronger flavour). Pour into your cup.
Milk or sugar is not generally added to the cup.
Iced Tea Brewing Method
Make as for hot, but add extra tea (doubling the amount is the standard suggestion, but add extra for a stronger flavour) - when the tea has cooled a little pour over ice. It is important to make it a little stronger as the ice will water it down.
Alternatively, you can place the tea in a jug and add cold water. Leave to infuse for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge) strain and enjoy. Cold brewing will give a smoother taste.