CSL has your guide to making the perfect cup, growing your own herbs and we taste test a couple mint teas
Grow Your Own
Sow: A sunny windowsill is all you need to grow your own herbs. Begin by filling a pot with one part perlite, 2 parts compost and one part coco coir. Sow seeds just beneath the surface of the soil and water.
Harvest: As the plants grow, pick as needed to make infusions throughout the year. Simply bring water to a boil and pour over lightly crushed leaves (this will release the essential oils). Steep for 1-3 minutes and strain, if desired.
High Mowing Organic Seeds German Chamomile, 0.1g, $2.95; highmowingseeds.com
Renee’s Garden Kitchen Herbs Heirloom Spearmint, 0.25g, $2.99; reneesgarden.com
West Coast Seeds Lemon Balm, 0.25g, $3.19; westcoastseeds.com
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Agastache ‘Heather Queen’, $3.00; rareseeds.com
Make the Perfect Cup
That familiar whistle is nostalgic, just like grandma’s kitchen, and practical, signaling boiling water. To make the perfect cup of herbal tea, ensure the water boils for at least one minute and pour over dried or fresh leaves at 208°F – 212°F (98°C – 100°C). Over time, hard water buildup can accumulate in kettles, to remove, full the kettle with equal parts distilled vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Allow to sit overnight and rinse thoroughly before use.
CH’A Tea Vio Whistling Kettle, $54.99, 2.6qt / 2.5L; Find a local retailer at danescoinc.com
Le Creuset Stainless Steel Classic Whistling Kettle, $180.00, 1.6L; lecreuset.ca
An all-round herbal tea that soothes, relaxes all while providing that comforting zing
Origin: Dried leaves from Oregon and Washington State a few of the best locations worldwide for growing mint.
The Taste: “Aromatic, with a slight menthol taste,” described one taster. “A wonderful tea for every day relaxation and digestion,” said another taster.
The Specs: David’s Tea Organic Peppermint Amour, 250g, $39.90; davidstea.com
Uniqueness: The teabag box features artwork that highlights the company’s collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute. A family of polar bears are depicted using the colour PANTONE 290 C.
The Taste: “Peppery and zingy,” notes one of CSL’s tasters. “I like to have a strong mint tea and this delivers,” says another.
The Specs: Tealeaves Organic Peppermint Signature Teabags, 50 bags, $38 USD; tealeaves.com
This original healthy living article first appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.