Monday, June 30, 2014

One of my favorite things...

Hello all,
This year has opened my eyes to a bunch of new things, most notably, other types of cuisine.  You see, I was a private English tutor to some great kids this school year. It was at one of their homes that I fell in love with this exotic beverage.

Yup, you guessed it. TEA.

And not just any tea, mind you. Mint tea, served the Algerian way.
Sweet and delicious. The kind of tea that would make diabetics scream and run for the hills.

Normally I take my teas without sugar and with a little milk, in the British way, or so I was told by a Frenchman. (Any English out there who can tell me if this is true?)

But, after a year of teaching the children and being offered this decadent treat on Thursday and Wednesday afternoons, I found myself craving this at home today. It's been three weeks now since the last class.

Could I be going through mint tea withdrawal?

The search was on.

And, oh my! Look what I found on my balcony!

Do I detect a hint of minty freshness?

Yes indeed. I have mint.
I thought he died this winter, but he has come back in full force and I am pleased.
(In the photo above, he had a little trimming before I thought to take a photo. Oops. Please excuse.)

Side note for those not familiar with mint (or herbs in general), I found that the leaves taste better when collected in the morning, before the sun has a chance to shine on them. You get the most essential oils from them that way.

For us, and where Minty is located on my balcony, that is anywhere between dawn and 9am.

In other words, if I want mint tea, I gotta be quick!

And, because I know you are all dying to try this too, here's my recipe.
Oh, and if any of you are watching your caffeine intake, it's caffeine free! (just not sugar free)

The round up.
Again, this photo was taken after I had made my tea, so please excuse the wet leaves.

Easy Mint Tea 
(Makes about one medium pot of tea, or serves 3-4 large tea cups)

1. Gather sixteen to twenty leaves of fresh mint. (You can use store bought mint too, just make sure it's fresh)

2. Chop these babies up fine and place in a mesh tea ball/ tea strainer. (I find this much easier to clean up afterwards than putting them directly into the pot.)

3. Place strainer in favorite teapot and pour freshly boiled water over leaves to fill pot.

4. Cover and let steep for ten to fifteen minutes.

5. Remove strainer and add honey to taste. (The tea is supposed to be served VERY sweet. I put about three tablespoons of Lavender honey into my pot and it would be considered a light version. You can also leave the strainer in; it'll just get stronger the longer it steeps and might get a little bitter.)

6. Pour into your favorite cup and drink hot.

Suggestion: Serve with a side of writing.

There's an Algerian proverb that I found on Wikipedia that is dedicated to this tea. It goes like this:

Le premier verre est aussi doux que la vie, 
le deuxième est aussi fort que l'amour, 
le troisième est aussi amer que la mort.           


The first glass is as gentle as life,
the second glass is as strong as love,
the third glass is as bitter as death.

(Personally, I think it sounds better in French, but that may just be me)

Anyway, enjoy this yummy treat! I know I will.

Until next time,


  1. Replies
    1. Yay! I think you'll really like it. If you have any shortbread type cookies lying around, it goes well with it too.