Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Make a Mint: Show me the Monet

Hello Tea Friends,

Now that it is officially Fall in Michigan, it's time to clean up the garden, bring the tea plant indoors and store away summer memories for another year. Our mint and chamomile plants thrived in our newly cultivated tea garden/vineyard up north, as did my prized Camellia sinensis. Another bonus to our improved grounds this summer was the Pemberly Pines pond, which, only in its second year of existence, showed signs of approaching our source of inspiration, Monet's amazing water lily pond in Giverny.

A little over two years ago, my husband and I went to Paris and took a day trip to Monet's home in Giverny. It's here we learned how the artist spent much of his time creating a real life masterpiece of rows upon rows of brightly colored flowers around his estate and manipulating a local water source to benefit his own personal pond. (The latter was made famous by Monet's water lily paintings.) We were also told on our tour that Monet enjoyed not only painting in the landscape of his own design, but taking tea there as well.

So, this summer, we picked homegrown mint, brewed fresh herbal tea, and sat back in Adirondack chairs near the pond to watch our one water lily in bloom sur le jardin de
thé, just like our favorite French impressionist artist. C'est magnifique!

Herbal Mint tea (derived from various google searches and our own personal tastes):

6 mint tea leaves per cup

Add boiling water to mint leaves and steep for 3 - 5 minutes

The refreshing lift of fresh mint tea will soon be replaced by warming chai lattes and the pond will soon look more like Monet's La Pie, Effet de Neige than a free flowing pool of water lilies. We're packing it in for the summer, but looking forward to the Fall pallet of vibrant colors from nature's brush; another masterpiece to take in with a hot cup of hearty tea.

Monet's water lily pond, France ******************* Pemberly Pines pond, Michigan

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