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Spearmint Tea

Wikipedia: Spearmint 
Last Updated: Nov. 13, 2014 

About Spearmint Tea

Tip of spearmint shoot, showing opposite leaves, sharply serrated and a bit rough looking, with blurred green backgroundThe spearmint plant, showing its distinctive sharply-serrated leaves. Photo © Simon Eugster (Wikimedia Commons), 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.


Mint plant with large, fuzzy, rounded leaves, with sign reading Mentha suavolescensApple mint or wooly mint (Mentha suavolescens) is similar to spearmint in aroma, and can be substituted for it. Photo © عمرو بن كلثوم (Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 3.0.
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.


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).
Dense growth of spearmint plants, with opposite leaves, pointy and serratedSpearmint often takes over flower beds, totally dominating and shutting out other plants. Public domain photo by PommeGrenade (Pixabay)

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.

Recent Spearmint Reviews — RSS rss icon

95 / 100
Picture of Bulk Spearmint Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Organic

I love spearmint herbal tea, but it's usually only available as a blend with peppermint. The only pure spearmint that I've been able to find locally in tea bags is Traditional Medicinals and they've been out of stock at the store where I buy them. I normally don't buy bulk because it's often stale, but since I was orde...

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76 / 100
Picture of Organic Spearmint

Organic Spearmint from Traditional Medicinals

Style: Spearmint Tea – Region: ?????
Jan. 31st, 2019

One of the very few pure spearmint herbal teas available in tea bags.

The tea smells strongly and recognizably of spearmint even before adding water. After steeping, the tea has a pronounced spearmint flavor with just enough herbal notes to avoid tasting like candy.

A second steeping still carries a lot of flavor...

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Most-Rated Spearmint

Picture of Bulk Spearmint Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Organic

Bulk Spearmint Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Organic

Style:Spearmint Tea
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
1 Rating
Picture of Organic Spearmint

Organic Spearmint

Brand:Traditional Medicinals
Style:Spearmint Tea
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
1 Rating

Top-Rated Spearmint

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