Recipe for Meadow Tea

If you've ever grown mint before, then you know that given the opportunity it will spread and take over the bed where it resides. We had a big patch of it that grew at the edge of my childhood home and my mom would literally do nothing to it and it would just grow and spread like crazy. The best thing to do with large amounts of fresh mint? Make Meadow Tea, of course!

Meadow Tea is one of those things I grew up drinking and seeing at local farmer's markets but I never realized that it was such a regional drink in Lancaster County, PA. We are known for having a large PA Dutch population and apparently they are the ones that dubbed this mint iced tea, "meadow tea." It makes sense when you let mint grow free, it does look like a meadow. 

If you love mint then you will love this classic PA Dutch recipe. It is easy to make, the hardest part is waiting while it steeps since that takes a few hours, depending on how strong you like your tea. It's a great all-natural drink to enjoy on hot summer days.

For those of you in the Lancaster, PA area, I am hosting a Potted Herb Garden Workshop this coming Saturday, May 14th, 2016 at 10:00am in Lititz.  At the workshop we will be planting little potted herb gardens and each guest will have a choice of 2-3 herbs from a variety, and one of the options is mint! We will also decorate little plant markers, enjoy some snacks, and a lesson on caring for our herb plants from Natalie of A Tiny Traveler Blog and Oakmoss Collective. Tickets are just $25 and include absolutely everything that you will need to make a cute and usable herb garden for your home. If you'd like, you can even plant some mint to make your own meadow tea! For more information and to reserve your spot, click here! Space is limited and tickets must be purchased ahead of time. Ticket sales close at May 12th at 6:00pm EST. 

Meadow Tea

yields: 6 cups
Time: 5 minutes + 2 1/2 hours steeping time

Ingredients
6 cups water
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup (or more) sugar or honey

Directions
1. Boil the 6 cups of water in a kettle or large pot. Meanwhile, rinse the mint leaves well.
2. If using a kettle, pour boiling water into a larger measuring cup or bowl and add the whole mint leaves. If using a pot to boil water, remove the pot from heat and add the whole mint leaves. Steep the leaves for about 2 1/2 hours, or longer if you prefer stronger tea.
3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the leaves.
4. Use a fine mesh strain to strain the tea as you pour it into a pitcher/storage container of choice. Stir in the sugar or honey, amount varies by how sweet you like your tea. Start with the smaller amount of sweetener and increase until your taste buds are happy. Classic Meadow Tea is very heavily sugared. Refrigerate and serve cold.