Spearmint Tea

Wikipedia: Spearmint 
Updated: Nov. 13, 2014 

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Browse Spearmint Tea (13)Brands of Spearmint Tea

Table of contents:
About Spearmint Tea | Examples of Spearmint Tea

About Spearmint Tea

A spearmint plant
The spearmint plant. Photo by Simon Eugster, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Spearmint is a species of mint, Mentha spicata, and the most common type of mint used in mint tea. When people refer to "mint tea" without specifying a type of mint, spearmint is the most common kind referenced, although peppermint is actually more popular and abundant in the market of herbal teas.

Aroma and Flavor

The aroma of spearmint can be described as clean, fresh, and cooling, although it lacks the intense cooling quality of peppermint. Compared to peppermint, the aroma is softer and less piercing. The flavor is predominately bitter, although depending on the variety, harvest time, and preparation, it is possible to prepare spearmint tea so as to minimize bitterness.

Spearmint is a versatile flavoring, blending well with savory foods as well as sweets. In herbal teas, it is commonly blended with a wide range of ingredients, including peppermint and other mints, chamomile, and the various lemon-scented herbs like lemon balm and lemongrass.

Use in Herbal Teas and Tea Blends

Spearmint is commercially available both as a fresh herb (at groceries, produce markets, and farm stands) and a dried herb (from tea companies and bulk herb companies). The fresh herb, including leaves and stems, can be brewed as an herbal tea or added to tea; spearmint tea brewed from fresh leaves has a more vegetal flavor, with a hint of cooked greens in the flavor.

It is also common to blend spearmint with true teas. In parts of the middle east, it is common to brew strong black tea with spearmint or a related mint with a similar aroma. In Morocco, gunpowder green tea is often blended with spearmint or other mints. On RateTea we have separate categories for green tea with mint and black tea with mint. Whether or not the tea itself is brewed with mint, a sprig of spearmint leaves are a common addition to freshly brewed iced tea.

Substitutes

Many mints can be substituted for spearmint. One of the most similar in aroma is apple mint or wooly mint. Although peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint with another species, it has a very different aroma and does not make a good substitute as other species and varieties that are less closely related.

The Spearmint Plant

Mentha spicata has a wide native range, from Europe to Asia, south to the Middle East and Himalayas. It grows well in moist temperate climates. In the wild, it prefers wetlands, sometimes growing on moister ground outside wetlands.

Identification

Mint family plants are easily recognized by their square stems and neat, symmetrical growth habit. The true mints, Mentha sp., form patches of upright stems from underground runners, contrasting with the clump-forming habit of some other plants of the family.

Spearmint is identified from other common mentha species and varieties by its sharply serrated leaves, usually completely hairless stems and leaves, and uniform green color (lacking red/brown or variegation).
Spearmint in a garden bed
Spearmint often takes over garden beds, growing with little care and choking out other plants. Photo by Alex Zorach, of his garden.

Gardening and Cultivation

Growing spearmint is easy in moist temperate climates. The plant does best in part shade, and moist soil rich in organic material, but it is adaptable. It is an aggressive plant, often choking out other plants in a garden, and spreading through underground runners. For this reason, it is common for gardeners to grow it in containers.

Propagation of spearmint is easiest by cutting; the plant is comparatively much more difficult to grow from seed. Cuttings can be placed in a glass of water and allowed to root in water, then later planted, or they can be buried horizontally in soil. Both methods are easy and effective.

Examples of Spearmint Tea

The following are examples of the 13 selections of Spearmint Tea in our database.

Picture of Spearmint

Spearmint

Brand:Adagio Teas
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Loose
Picture of Finest Mint

Finest Mint

Brand:The Tea Set
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Loose
Picture of Organic Spearmint

Organic Spearmint

Brand:Traditional Medicinals
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Teabag
Picture of BH43: Domestic Spearmint

BH43: Domestic Spearmint

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Region:United States of America
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Loose

Browse All Spearmint Tea (13)Brands of Spearmint Tea