Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It’s pretty fast growing. Once it had some size to it, the plant did not mind having its branches trimmed often. We plucked a few leaves at a time and used them fresh. We also cut multiple stems, bundled them together, and hung to dry. Once dried I stripped the leaves from the stem and put them into an airtight jar.
Chocolate mint is a member of the peppermint family. Who cares right? What you want to know is does it taste like chocolate? My wife perceives it as highly chocolaty. Me, I think it hints at chocolate with a stronger but not overwhelming cooling peppermint. Other people can’t detect the chocolate at all. I think the real secret is to not anticipate a heavy chocolate blast but rather a subtle touch.
What does this have to do with tea? I use the leaf in my tea mug. My wife uses the leaf in her coffee cup. I have also read of it being used in cookies and cakes. For tea, I used 3 to 5 leaves per cup. It will re-steep twice. My favorite use was with a cheap puerh. On its own the puerh was fishy and musty smelling (not good). With the chocolate mint it became a divine drink. Experiment and you may find some awesome uses for this herb. I personally do not like spearmint in tea as I think it tastes like you are drinking with gum in your mouth but I find this mint very tasty.
The plant is hardy and should come up again this spring. If it doesn’t, I will be heading for the Farmer’s Market. I highly recommend you give it a try. Just make sure to grow it in a pot.