Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mint tea

Ever since enjoying a post North African dinner glass of mint tea at Bonbon Oiseau's house last year, I had promised myself to buy a bagful of the dried mint leaves at Sahadi's, above. I remembered endless glasses of tea in Istanbul, brought on swinging trays, with small sugar cubes and tiny spoons. Somehow I'd never thought to recreate it in New York.

After carrying loads of strange teas (mint, and the South African rooibos and honeybush, found at Wholefoods and Sahadi's, and increasingly common) to the poor non-tea drinking denizens of Bellini Street in Beloeil, I bought my own bagful at last. It's lovely stuff, and must be drunk out of a glass, for me. Like beer. I don't taste beer from a bottle, somehow. I like to see it. Half the pleasure is in the beholding.

I stuff a handful of the crumbly, fragrant leaves into a teapot, pour on boiling water, cosy the pot for about 3 minutes and then pour the green-brown tea into a strong glass with a spoonful of sugar.


  1. We are on the same wavelength - I just spent my lunch hour procuring all the ingredients needed for decent (hopefully) masala chai tea. I got really spoiled by one divine cup I recently sampled at an Indian dance performance in nearby Amherst, MA...made the nice, slow way.

  2. I love mint tea, too. The baskets of dried mint leaves look wonderful! There's something so comforting in a cup of hot tea. Rooibos is one of my favorite teas, as well as tulsi rose and Earl Grey.


  3. Oohh, excellent post. I only drink mint tea these days, which has been found to possess the similar pain-relieving properties as aspirin. I get it loose from a lovely old apothecary in town, and I carry emergency Stash tea bags in my purse. I love it with Moroccan food at Cafe Maroc. Yum yum.

  4. This was a really interesting post. I have never had mint tea like that before. I live in Japan so I drink a lot of green tea. I think green tea is what keeps me so healthy--I never get sick. I also like really strong British tea. I heard Scottish breakfast tea is the strongest, almost with a malty flavor. I also love coffee. made in a drip cone. I love talking about beverages!

  5. Hi m...sounds delicious! Being spoiled is one of the best ways of learning to aim higher in our tastes and self-pamperings, I think!

    Keli-i - I grew up with rooibos and have since wandered away from it again. I used to take bath in it! I love the bergamot in Earl Grey, and like adding some to a really strong tea.

    Ms Princess - really? I must read about that. I was wondering what it might be helpful for.

    David - I love strong tea, too. The kind a teaspoon stands up in :-)My favourite right now is Ahmad English Afternoon tea, with a little bergamot. In South Africa, it is Five Roses, which might be the sweepings from the factory floor. Very fine, very strong! for your coffee, do you mean an individual little cone over your cup, because I love that, too. Maybe even more than my beloved stovetop espresso maker.

  6. I haven't been keeping up but are you talking about the Beloeil in Quebec? I know your "main man" is canadien.

  7. i love tea in glass mugs/cups. that reminds me i want to track down one or two. my last one had an unfortunate encounter with the edge of the countertop.

  8. I planted two sage bushes so I would always have enough leaves for tea. It's similar to mint, but a little -- I guess, milder. Sweetened or unsweetened, w/ sugar or honey. At leaves 5 l4aves to a cup of boiling water. Perfectly lovely.

    wv: podili
    seems tea-ish somehow. a much nicer description than that"agony of the leaves" business. Put the leaves in the pot. Add boiling water. Allow the tea to podili for 3-5 minutes . . .

  9. Si, Maureen, Beloeil, QC...

    Hi Donna - ja...my favourite wine glass had a similar experience last week, bugger. It was HUGE, from Anthropologie. It dead now.

    Melanie - yes, the podili'ing of the tea is a sensitive business...I eat my sage bushes flat. Need more.

    Frank, ha...into the kitchen, Boy!

  10. Mint tea is simply the best - made with mint leaves, not a teabag!! My new thing is Rooibos chai. Heaven!


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