Mint is the bamboo of the herb world, and anyone who has it taking over their garden (Walls do not stop it, you cannot kill it, just accept it.) will gladly take suggestions on what to do with the herbal abundance. Making your own mint tea is the perfect project to not only preserve your summer bounty, but whip up a different kind of morning beverage.

 First, find a friend with mint. See what I mean? It grows in THICK. You can also pick up your own starter plant at the farmers market or home improvement store. Pick more than you think you will need: Remember it will shrink in the drying process.

 Now that you've got your leaves, strip them from the stem by pinching where the clusters meet and pull gently. During this time you can preheat your oven to 170 F.

Lay out the mint on a baking sheet in a thin layer. The goal is to remove as much moisture as possible, so stacking leaves is going to take twice as long. After ten minutes in the oven, this is what the leaves looked like. The green color is gone and the leaves are somewhat dry, but NOT done. Use a pancake turner and flip the leaves. Back to the oven!  After another fifteen minutes, turn off the oven and keep the pan inside. Don't let curiosity get the best of you: keep the door shut and check back in an hour. See the difference between the above picture and the one preceeding it? These leaves are dry! Find an airtight container to store your leaves in.

 When you're ready to make tea, a loose palmful of the dried mint will make two cups. Boil the water and add directly to the mint leaves. I used a teapot with a strainer to keep the crunchies out of my cup, but even if a few make it in, it won't ruin your 'cuppa. Happy drinking!