Chocolate Mint Can Be A Special Flavor To Traditonal Ice Tea Or A Wonderful Sweetener For the Diabetic Patient or Stevia User
I wanted to put in my sweet tea some spearmint or peppermint but when I went outside the only thing I had was chocolate mint ( identifiable by the square, dark stem if fragrance and taste not enough to know). Knowing the subtleties of what time of day, what part of the plant etc. I decided to use it as my mint of the day.
Let me tell you of this delightful experience. As I drank the tea ( remember here in the "south" of U.S.) we only do sweet tea so this experience would be even greater for non sweet tea as would be no conflict with the sugar, honey, sweetener agent, but I was delightfully surprised.
There was a very noticeable, but slight, delightful "sweet chocolaty" taste in my tea. I had literally taken 4-5 leaves, placed in bottom of my glass, put some ice over and poured cool tea that had come out of the refrigerator, so it entered the glass cold, not warm. This flavor added not only a gentle hint of chocolate, not overpowering but subtle, and also served as a sweetening agent. The chocolate mint did as herbs should do, not overpower but provide a layer, depth of flavor to enrich the taste.
What would have happened if:
- I had taken a handful of chocolate mint and put in strainer
- Poured a gallon of hot water over, reserving in pot ( this heat removes the oil for stronger taste/fragrance )
- Heated the "chocolate mint water" and placed some tea bags in it to make tea
- Chilled and served
I have a friend who use to make the very best mint tea and her secret was creation of "mint water" before making the tea. The mint water added a nice clean taste and was very refreshing. I would buy from her simply because her method was so much better than adding mint to tea after brewing.
I always say be willing to experiment with your herbs as the fun is the variability of trying herbs in new ways. This was one of those experiences.
Not only does the chocolate add a very unique flavor but the sweetness of it made me wonder if chocolate mint could be a very good "sugar substitute" for the diabetic patients who doesn't need the sugar but wants the sweet flavor.
Try it and some time send me your experiences with herbs or post to our herbfest blog.