Read This Before You Try To Substitute Mint Tea For Dried Mint

While coffee is coffee, whether it be decaf, full-caf, extra caf, or flavored, tea is a term that encompasses a fairly wide range of drinks. Technically, tea is made by steeping the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Varieties of tea can include black, green, white, or others, such as oolong tea. However, there are a number of other concoctions that are often referred to as herbal teas. Among these options are ginger tea made from ginger root, chamomile tea made from chamomile flowers, and mint tea, which is made from the dried leaves of the mint plant.

While mint tea in teabags can be found in just about any supermarket, some people prefer to brew loose-leaf tea. If you're a loose-leaf fan, you might have wondered whether it's possible to use the dried mint that you buy in the spice aisle to make your tea. Well, maybe. This depends on what you're expecting out of that cup of tea and how open you are to trying new flavors. That said, if you're planning to do the reverse and use mint tea in place of dried mint for a cooking project, it's probably not a good idea. The two products, while similar, are hardly interchangeable.

Mint tea and dried mint have different flavors

The type of mint that gets sold as a dried herb typically comes from the spearmint plant, so it has a slight hint of chewing gum flavor. Most mint teas, on the other hand, are made with peppermint, so they're more reminiscent of candy canes. If you don't mind a tea with the refreshing flavor of Doublemint, then you can go ahead and steep dried mint. If, on the other hand, you're thinking of substituting mint tea for dried mint in a recipe, it might not work out in your favor.

Dried mint is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, usually as part of a complex blend of other spices and seasonings. In such cases, swapping spearmint for peppermint might result in a serious flavor mismatch. Another reason why you should proceed carefully (or not at all) when it comes to using mint tea in place of the dried herb is that — in some cases — mint teas may actually be mint-flavored tea blends that use black, green, or white tea leaves in addition to mint leaves. Needless to say, tea leaves won't serve your recipe as well as dried mint alone would. Our advice? Unless you're feeling experimental, this particular ingredient swap is probably not a good idea.