Mint Tea with Lemon Verbena

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A while ago I ordered some herbal tea at the Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley. The tea arrived in a large, clear, glass teapot, filled with green leaves and hot water. The tea was lovely – light, lemony, minty. After we finished it, my curiosity got the best of me and I started fishing out the leaves from the pot, wondering what was in this tea anyway? Our server noticed this odd behavior and quickly came to the table offering to provide us with fresh leaves. “These leaves here are mint, but what are these long green ones?” I asked. “Lemon verbena,” was the answer and she happily addressed my battery of questions about this herb. Lemon verbena is a bushy shrub that grows quite well in Northern California. It originally comes from South America, but has been cultivated in Europe since the 1600s. It has a strong lemon scent and is used to add a lemon flavor to many dishes. In anticipation of making my own verbena mint tea, I planted some this spring. True to expectations, the not-yet-a-bush plant is thriving. Here’s the method for making simple mint tea with lemon verbena:

Mint Tea with Lemon Verbena Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 2 cups.

Ingredients

lemon-verbena.jpg
Lemon verbena

  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves (not the stems, they're bitter), rinsed, lightly packed (about 20 leaves)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon verbena leaves, rinsed, lightly packed (about 10-15 leaves)
  • 2 cups of water

Method

Bring a pot of fresh water almost, but not quite to a boil. Put the mint and verbena leaves in a teapot. Pour the hot water over the leaves. Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Strain into tea cups.

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Links:
Lavender and Lemon Verbena Limeade from A Fridge Full of Food
Lemon Verbena Curd Tart with Blackberries - Serendipitous Chef
Lemon Verbena Sorbet - Splendid Table
Lemon Verbena Spotlight - from Slashfood
Berry and Lemon Verbena Jelly - a creation of Maki from I Was Just Really Very Hungry

Showing 4 of 8 Comments

  • Peter

    We have a lovely smelling Verbena bush and plenty of Mint.
    Just brewed my first pot of tea, it has a light green colour, pleasant odour.
    Nice taste, not to strong but good.

  • Kevin

    I’d love to grow my own plant but where can I find lemon verbena seeds?

    You might ask your local nursery or search online. I’ve only bought the plant itself, and have not tried to grow one from seed. ~Elise

  • Kristin

    This is really good! Since it’s really hot right now, I decided to make this into iced tea instead. It’s a little milder taste when you add in the ice cubes, but still makes a delicious cool beverage. Definitely try this!

  • Suziq

    Hi, I noticed in the comments for Lemon Verbena Tea, that someone had wondered if Lemon Scented Verbena had any medicinal properties.
    It does actually:
    It helps reduce fevers/temperatures
    It also can help relieve indigestion, similar to mint
    It can also help people with poor digestion, especially, if they have a health problem in that area. Lemon Scented Verbena actually works but soothing the muscles which are spasming during an episode of indigestion or ‘trapped’ wind (flatulence)
    Hope this helps:)

  • Sunset Dave

    Very cool. Sounds like another plant to add to the herb garden out back. My mint plants are all growing like weeds, so if this lemon verbena is anywhere near as prolific, I’m good to go :-)

    I wonder how it does in the Sunset fog though?

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