Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mint Tea Anyone? ;)

We have herbs in the garden, but there was very little mint this year, plenty of melissa though.
So I was very happy, when my friend Z. (the one with the gorgeous DIY BF!) offered me her mint. 'Oh, take as much as you need!' she said.

I asked her to show it to me, as I'm rather a newbie to herbs too!
Then I picked a bunch. It looked a little 'suspicious', but I thought, 'Well, there are many sub-sorts!'
Then her brother and her Mum both asked me what I was doing there, and her Mum said, 'But she doesn't have mint in her garden! She has melissa!'
'Well, she said it's mint!'
Her Mum came up to check: 'What have the two of you picked?'
'It's melissa,' she said (and my heart fell. We had lots of melissa in the garden ourselves!)
'But here, have some mint.' (lol, I could kiss her!:)
I love mint tea, and this year we only have a tiny bit - there's some stuff from years before, but it's not so strong or healthy!

mint! Source: the lovely Wikipedia!

melissa! source: Wikipedia

They are both healthy and calming and lovely - in moderation, of course!
A small bag with dry melissa leaves on your pillow is said to make you happy, so I picked some more in our garden today, for those long grey winter days! :)

Been busy re-filing my files (according to the GTD method!), among other things - our house also looks like a walnut production plant! - and found my herb files have been scattered in three places! (So hopefully next year I'll do better!)
We do have books, but I didn't bother to check!

Moral of the story: ALWAYS check the herb pics before picking them - even if you think your good friend is an EXPERT and her mom goes to Herb Club! (I wish the Herb Club weren't for older people who are already retired only!!)

The funny thing is my Mum used to think mint was melissa too, so quite possibly she had taught me wrong when I was a kiddie, so no wonder I was all mixed up, lol!

Oh, and I recycled an Amazon box-y thing into melissa dryer! He he... Our drafty attick seems an appropriate place to dry herbs, so I nickname myself Queen of Herbs even if I don't have much clue about them (yet!)

Do you pick or grow herbs? Which ones? Do you like herbal tea?
(I adore it!)


  1. constantly am drinking mint herbal tea, yummy! I'm new to plants but they are growing well, perhaps I could try a herb or two by Spring. :-)

  2. I've dried both mint and lemon balm this year too! I'm going to make the mint into teabags for my Dad as it's his favourite drink. I'm trying to figure out how to make the bags.

  3. Thank you for distinguishing the differences :) I like to eat a lot of Asian food that contain mint but I wouldn't have been able to tell the differences.
    The weather is starting to get colder here and I could use lots of tea! <3
    green tea is my favorite :)

    thanks for your lovely comment :)
    Nail polishes aren't ever eco-friendly huh... How about Piggy Paint? Have you heard about them? I hear that they are non-toxic and are safe for kids and pregnant women. Will that be considered eco-friendly? :P

    I remember I used to play guitar with nail polish on! haha! You are right, it doesn't go very well together :P
    My sister taught me how to play but I am still a beginner. How about you? Are you an expert? :)

  4. Eyeliah, glad you like the tea too!:) - Well, too much mint tea (or any other) isn't supposed to be good, so maybe look into some other teas you might like too? (Like melissa?;)
    YAY, do try some herbs by spring! They're awesome!

    Mrs Green, WOW!! Do report how it goes!
    Does your Dad not like sieves or metal gizmos you can put tea in? (my ex-roommate had one, she used it all the time) maybe muslin or such?
    (not sure what lemon balm is, gotta Google it..)

    Kay, do post some recipes! I had no idea you can put mint into food!! :)
    Not an expert, more like intermediate maybe - depends on what! :)

  5. The second picture shows Lemon Verbena. It really does taste of lemon if you make tea from it and it's very sweet. Note that for both mint and verbena you can dry the leaves (hang them up to dry in bunches) and then have tea over winter when the plants have died down.

    Mint is excellent for adding to new potatoes when boiling them. Lemon verbena is good for adding to fruit salads.

  6. Mint and lemon balm (melissa) are both wonderful herbs; they look very similar, and are in the same general family, but the fragrance is quite different-- that should let you know every time! In my experience, lemon balm is not quite as hardy (or invasive) as mint, but perhaps that depends on your climate.

    Lemon balm is noted for its calming, even uplifting qualities, and is also reputed to have some anti-viral properties (e.g. against herpes). Its heavenly fragrance, unfortunately, is one of the few that does not stand up well to drying; it is best used fresh if you want to preserve that. It's not unpleasant dried, it's just... diminished-- unlike mint, which doesn't seem to care!

  7. I love mint tea (is it still called tea if you just grab some leaves off your mint plant and put them in the teapot with some hot water? or is in an ifusion or somthing? No matter what it's called it tastes good!) :)

  8. Hi Simone & Rafqa!

    Thank you for the tips!! :)
    I hope I'll remember that when the new potatoes pop up! (Would it still be doable now? And do you add mint at the beginning or toward the end of boiling?)

    Yup, we have tea from dry leaves.. We dry them mostly vertically though, on big carton plates..
    We dried some herbs by hanging in bunches, not sure if there's a big difference between the two processes?

    Never tried any 'tea' from fresh leaves! Rafqa & Sooz, seems I'll have to try some from fresh too-?! (I wonder if I dare?!)

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