Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DIY The a la Menthe

More greens, this time the 'drink me' kind.

This lovely fresh green mint.

Is growing on French Girl's balcon taking in the Paris sun or Paris grey skies, whichever happens first. This is her 'appart' jardin.

I asked if she knew how to make fresh mint tea and she proceeded to tell me, first I must make 'REAL' tea, then add fresh mint leaves to the hot tea. Non non non!
Do you know how to make fresh mint tea? Do tell svp.

sketch parlor london I had it at Sketch Parlour in London, which one of you brilliant PB readers said I MUST visit. I'd ordered Rooibos tea, but when the server saw me turn up my nose at the strong aroma, she offered instead some fresh mint tea.

sketch parlour london The best afternoon tea is at Sketch I'm happy to announce.
I loved their 'fresh' mint tea = instant addiction to something that may even be healthy.

sketch parlour london This is a super fun place. It does take a bit of searching out. I almost didn't go. Luckily I was wearing my macaron T-shirt so they felt obliged to seat me immediately, though I had not reserved ahead.

On Sunday morning I traipsed out to Richmond (which took all of 10 minutes on the Waterloo train) to Petersham Nurseries, another London must-do. Because of my rotten missing 'green thumbs' I don't dare own any plants, but it's still well worth a visit.

A bit of lunch seemed a good idea. When the server asked what I'd like, I said, "cake please". Completely daft of me, as the Brits say, since all they have IS cake on this table!

‘Fresh' courgette soup (that's zucchini to you).

And the 'fresh' mint tea again. YUM

Now I know what do to with all the glass teapots I've collected to paint. That is as soon as you tell me how to make fresh mint tea correctly.

Sitting in the caf' at Petersham is just fine unless you book ahead for the restaurant. It's much more posh.

On to Paris mint tea. Feeling completely bushed yesterday after just one hour's sleep (in deadly fear of missing the 'CHUNNEL' train) I stopped in the newly refurbished salon de the in Printemps for mint tea. But it was made the way French girl makes it. Refreshing none the less, but no 'fresh' mint leaves saying hello to you.

And what to have with your mint tea?
Definitely not these toy felt petit fours unless you're a doudou.

A luscious looking charlotte gateaux.


  1. All I know is how we make mint tea in Holland: just boil water and add lots of fresh mint leaves. Delicious! You can buy lots of different kinds of mint plants. I have a pot of maroccan mint on my balcony, which grows abundantly. Pots are always best since mint tends to take over your entire garden if you give it the chance.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Love, Debby

  2. This is an adorable post, love it from the first to the last image (that must be the most spectacular moofeen ever!).

    I am not an expert on mint tea making, but my mother used to make it all the time, served hot in winter, cold in summer. I was taught that all you need to do is pack fresh mint with abandon into a teapot, pour hot water over it and wait a few minutes. Works fine with dried mint leaves too. You can also put lose black tea leaves, preferably Darjeeling, into a paper sachet and add it to the mix, but the black tea should be removed after three minutes of steeping.

  3. j'aime toutes ces ambiances!

    Bonne journée


  4. Anonymous5:25 AM

    This is a lovely dried version - Betty's Moroccan mint tisane.


    It is fabulous with cakes! ... or without.

  5. Great post and gorgeous photos.
    I had very nice mint tea when I was in India - a bit strong but very refreshing. I think it was Assam blend with lots of fresh mint leaves added.
    Personally, I like Jasmine Green Tea.

  6. Justine5:34 AM

    I am now ready to dive into 'fresh' mint tea and I've always hated the peppermint stuff but this looks so much better!

  7. Lovely post, as always! That cupcake/"moofin" is lovely!

    If you're interested, I'm hosting a giveaway for a Wendy Mink necklace (retail value: $175), drop by!


  8. Anonymous7:09 AM

    In Morocco, they just stuff a silver teapot full of clean mint sprigs, then add hot water. Nothing is better on a hot day than hot mint tea! Surprisingly refreshing. I became addicted when I was there.

  9. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Ooooh, mint tea! Apparently, it is eady enough!




    Does this mean you will be raiding French Girl's jardin?

  10. I use to prepare mint tea in summer.
    I can use either pure mint leaves or mixed up with black tea.We love the second better.
    You have to preheat you teapot, put in fresh mint leaves and add boiling water. Let rest 5 minutes then add the loose tea leaves and lots of cane sugar.Tea in North Africa is deadly sweet. I usually don't have a sweet tooth but I love sweet mint tea. After 5 minutes more you can pour it into cups through a sieve. Enjoy it , I shall certainly do in short time.
    Thank you very very much for your posts, they are a daily treat for me although I do not comment too often. Rosanna

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  12. Aaaahhhh mint tea!!I like having some after dinner with a piece of dark chocolate.

    Isn't this the best blog ever!!?? I am becoming addicted to my daily dose of your colourful stories, pictures and paitings :) Thank you!

    Best wishes from Montreal!

  13. Lovely post,,, when I make fresh loose tea -- I use either a Tea Infuser -- that holds the leafs then place in boiling water in the cup or tea pot and let steep for a few minutes depending on the strength you prefer.

    If it is in a cup you need a lid while it is steeping. As you know from the many tea shops and teapots you have painted over time -- there are teapots that have a tea infuser that fits inside the neck of the teapot for easy removal.

    Have fun and experiment with different blends till you get your favorite(s). I like Stadsmuis comment on making mint tea -- well every ones comment all sound real good to try.


  14. We drank a lot of mint tea during our trip to Morroco in March this year. They make it too sweet. We were in Petersham nurseries last October. For those who has never been, Petersham is very accessible by the London tube and a short bus ride (or walk along the Thames) in Richmond, just outside central London. It's well worth a visit. Other than the transportation cost, it's free to get in and you can all the photographs you want.

  15. hello! i found your blog through the blogher list of speakers and I just wanted to comment and say hi! i wish i could make it out to NY for the conference, but i don't think i can. i'm a beginning blogger and i love it :) i also checked out your etsy shop and you're so talented!

    cheers and it's nice to meet you,

  16. Making mint tea looks to be easy judging by these comments. That's good. What's bad is, not being able to find mint! I've been combing the nurseries of Los Angeles looking for mint plants, mint seeds, something, anything. Sold Out! That's all I hear, every where I go.

    I was so hoping to make a mojito for my husband for Father's Day, but you need fresh mint for that.

    The search continues, but now, thanks to you, I know how to make mint tea.

    And I see I have another stop to add to my "Must Do" list in London.

    Thank you!

  17. Delish! I like to make fresh lemon balm tea — put leaves in a mug and pour hot water over them. You could try growing lemon balm (I can't kill it when I want to!)

  18. We have a huge peppermint bush in our backyard and drink mint tea all the time! Not sure if we do it correctly, but we usually 1) wash the leaves; 2) pat dry; 3) put in tea pot; 4) pour hot water over the leaves, wait a few minutes to let it steep. I think I remember reading somewhere that if you don't make mint tea properly it'll taste bitter, but so far we haven't had that problem.

  19. I can't tell you how glad I am to read these London posts. I'm finally going back to London in the fall after a 5+ year hiatus, and the Afternoon Tea coverage is particularly helpful. Enjoy!!!

  20. Anonymous12:00 AM

    so jealous of everything! the adorable tea shop, the tea, the macroons, the travel!

  21. oh what a great way to start the day!!
    I love, want and need everything here...fresh mint tea, afternoon tea snacks, the soup, the transparent tea pot, the new laduree ice cream and the cupcake!!!!

    I want it all!!!

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  24. Love this post. So much here thats fun. I have been following your trip to England and France & loving it. Congrats on your sale of paintings. I hope you sell more. How long will your Art stay in England and how will you get it home?


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