Mint is an incredibly versatile—not to mention tasty—flavor set. You’ll see it as readily in a bubbly summer mojito as in a warm cup of peppermint cocoa. Varieties can range from spearmint to apple mint to chocolate mint, peppermint, and beyond. The downside of course is that this combination of variety and versatility can make choosing the best mint tea for the job a little confusing.
First things first, though: to figure out how to choose the best mint tea, you have to decide what “best” means to you.
Though there are a lot of mint varieties (over 600!), we’re only going to be focusing on those you’re most likely to run into in the tea world: spearmint and peppermint.
The main difference between the two is how much menthol each has. Menthol is the source of the soothing, cooling effect of mints, as well as what gives them their “oomph.” Spearmint contains .5 percent of this compound, while peppermint contains an impressive 40 percent! This means that spearmint provides a subtler flavor and a mild sweetness, while peppermint is more intense.
Both spearmint and peppermint leaves are common tea ingredients, but some teas also contain mint essence taken from both varieties. Essences of any kind are used to add a concentrated form of a given flavor, while leaves usually lend a more subtle, herbaceous note. A given tea might contain both or either of these, depending on what end results the blender wants.
Just as important as the variety of mint is the variety of tea. There are lots of types to choose from, but here we’re going to talk about black, green, and rooibos and how you can pick the best mint tea for you.
The first question is: what do you want to do with it?
If you answered “make a fun mock/cocktail,” then you should definitely look into the Blackberry Mojito black tea. Why is this the best mint tea for the job?
For one, it has spearmint as one of its main ingredients. While spearmint is the milder of the two, I find that adding peppermint levels of menthol to a cold drink to be a bit bracing for my tastes. For another, it has a black tea base, giving it a robust flavor. Finally, it cold-brews well.
Once you’ve got your tea made you can add soda water, some liquid sweetener, and a lime wedge (and some white rum if you’re looking for an extra kick) for an easy-drinking warm-weather favorite.
If you feel like making a habit of this kind of tasty drink, you may want to consider a kit to set you up for success. And if you want some more inspiration for summer-themed sipping, look no further than bourbon iced tea.
If what you want is a warm, meditative cup in the morning, then mildly caffeinated green tea might be more your style.
Since green tea also has high levels of catechin (a type of antioxidant) it’s a healthy choice, too! For a good morning start, I recommend Citrus Mint green tea. Obviously, it has a good base of green tea, but it also contains spearmint and lemongrass, both of which are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Add in the orange peel and lemon essence to brighten things up, and you’ll have a perfect start for your day. If you’re looking for some extra pep, try adding some lemon.
All right, so we’ve covered the gentle, healthy start of your day and the tasty afternoon, but what about in the evenings?
Both of the teas we’ve covered have caffeine, which obviously isn’t going to help send you off to sleep. Don’t worry, because there’s a minty tea for that, too!
The White Chocolate Peppermint herbal tea has a rooibos and honeybush base, meaning that it has absolutely no caffeine. It’s no surprise then that both of them have been used for generations in South Africa to relax before bed.
Unlike most herbal teas, however, rooibos and honeybush have been oxidized, similarly to black tea, which means that it has a deeper flavor than a tea with only dried herbs. A fantastic compromise if, like me, you’re reluctant to give up a robust black tea even in the late hours.
Adding to its impressive line-up, this tea also contains cocoa nibs. In addition to adding a chocolatey bitterness to balance out the powerful peppermint and sweetening coconut, cocoa nibs bring a host of other benefits, including a release of serotonin. Not only does serotonin improve mood, but it’s also required for your body to make melatonin, a hormone that plays a role in getting to sleep.
Which is the Best Mint Tea?
I hope what we covered here has shown that while “best” is a flexible question mint is equally flexible in its answers. If your version of “best” hasn’t been covered here, you might want to take a moment to explore different mint teas, reading the ingredients carefully to make sure they best suit your needs. I’m sure you’ll find something to suit you!