We took a trip to Turkey back in March, and I came home with a TON of herbs, spices, and loose leaf tea. One of my favorites was a floral tea we brought home for my mom…it was incredible! But it’s July now, and despite the excessive amount of dried goods we brought home, we’ve long finished all of our sweet souvenirs. So a few weeks ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with the leaves from my stevia and mint plants, it clicked: make loose leaf tea!
Stevia leaf is perfect for loose leaf tea because it’s sweet without being overpowering. Mint is also a tea (and mojito) staple. But although you could make a lovely mint tea using mint and stevia leaves, I wanted to make this a floral-mint tea, so I tried to mimic all of the ingredients from the Turkish floral tea.
Here are the six ingredients I used…
Lavender: Lavender wasn’t in the floral tea we brought home from Turkey, but I do have plenty from my garden, so I decided to throw that in the mix. Lavender is well known for it’s relaxation properties, from its sweet aroma to its lovely taste.
Hibiscus: Hibiscus has a bit of a tangy taste, so it helps to keep this tea from being too sweet. Hibiscus has anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies suggest that it even helps to lower blood pressure. Plus you can’t beat the beautiful deep ruby red color it gives your tea!
Mint: Mint is a no brainer. It has a very relaxing scent and can help ease stress and an upset stomach. It’s so easy to grow, too–my mint plant is constantly growing out of control!
Rose petals: Rose is fragrant but light, meaning it doesn’t dominate this tea. You can use dehydrated rose petals or the entire dehydrated rosebud. Check out some of the potential benefits of rose tea here.
Chamomile: Chamomile has a very light scent and has been used in tea for centuries. We know it today as something to help aid sleep or ease an upset stomach.
Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener–it’s actually what the powdered sweetener Truvia is made out of. So why not grow your own? It’s pretty easy to grow, harvest, and dehydrate and is the perfect way to add a bit of sweetness to your loose leaf tea.
I used dried mint, stevia, and lavender from my garden, and I picked up the hibiscus, rose petals, and chamomile from a local herbs and spices store. (If you’re in the DC area, definitely check out Rumi Tea and Spice!) If you don’t have a local shop, I’ll link to places you can purchase the ingredients below. Fun disclaimer: remember not to consume any of these ingredients unless you are sure you aren’t allergic to them. 🙂
Here’s what you need:
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- 1 tbsp dried mint leaves (online here)
- 1 tbsp dried hibiscus (online here)
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals (online here)
- 1 tbsp dried chamomile (online here)
- 1/2 tbsp dried lavender (online here)
- 3-4 dried stevia leaves to sweeten (online here)
- Lemon wedge
- Measuring spoon
- A looseleaf tea infuser. I have the Riklig teapot from Ikea and use this recipe for one pot, which is about two cups (the Riklig is 1.6 quarts). Here is an affordable alternative you can grab on Amazon. You could also get a loose leaf tea strainer, which would be perfect for any cup and is a bit cheaper.
And here’s how to make floral-mint loose leaf tea!
Step 1: Measure your ingredients and mix them together gently in a bowl.
Step 2: Put your mixture into your strainer and fill your pot or cup with boiling water. Let steep for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Drink when the water turns deep red; that’s the hibiscus! Squeeze a bit of lemon juice in and drink hot or cold.
The great thing about loose leaf tea is that you can tweak it until you love it. Don’t like lavender, for example? That’s fine! Just remove it from this recipe and see how it tastes. It’s a pretty forgiving process. Enjoy!
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