By Norah Faith

Just about everyone will enjoy a cup of refreshing tea. Many people use mint in its fresh form but using dry mint leaves for tea is also widely practiced. A cup of boiled water poured over this dried aromatic herb and your favorite sweetener makes a wonderfully soothing tea. While pure mint tea is good, a bit of dried mint also helps to enhance the flavor in a number of other teas. Drying mint is a simple process and can easily be done at home.

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Air Drying

Harvest a fresh batch of mint leaves, if you are growing them in your garden. If not, buy the freshest bundles of mint that you can find in the market.

Wash the mint leaves thoroughly to get rid of any grit and dust. Gently pat them dry and spread out on paper towels. Place the paper towels on a rack and leave them to air dry.

Gather small bundles of mint and tie them together with the cotton string. Attach the separate bundles of mint leaves to a long piece of string at regular intervals to balance them out. Take the stringer to a room that has limited sunlight coming in but ample ventilation. A bedroom would be ideal. Suspend the stringer from one end of the room to the other.

Use a dehumidifier in the room in which you place the stringer if the room is too humid.

Take down the stringer after a minimum of one week. You will be able to determine if the leaves are dry enough if they crush when you press a few of them together in your fingers. Strip the dry leaves off of the stems gently. Lay all of the leaves out on a flat surface to make sure that you have managed to dry all the leaves that are within the bundle.

Store the dry leaves in airtight glass jars in a cool, dry and dark area. You can use a spoonful of crumbled leaves for each cup of tea.

Oven Drying

Use your oven to quickly dry mint leaves. Put the washed and dried leaves on a cookie sheet and set in an oven at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for two or so hours. The leaves will dry without a loss of any oils or fragrance.

Remove the leaves from the oven and strip them from the branches.

Store the dry leaves in airtight glass jars in a cool, dry and dark area. You can use a spoonful of crumbled leaves for each cup of tea.