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I have a recipe that calls for a large pot of strong mint tea. I don't have time to make the recipe these days, but I'd like to make the tea before the spearmint in the garden dies off so I can finish this later when I have time. My plan was to harvest the remaining mint (I was going to include the stems as well since by now I've already used many leaves - but would stems affect the flavour in a negative way?), brew a pot, then put it in a container and freeze it, and then thaw when necessary. Would freezing affect the flavour?

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You can freeze the herb itself (in small portions, so you don't end up with a solid block of mint), but I would never use spearmint for tea. A recipe which calls for mint tea is meant for peppermint. The taste is very different. –  rumtscho Oct 26 '11 at 9:07
    
I've used spearmint in tea (to drink). But of course, it definitely tastes different. We'd need to know the recipe to even guess if a peppermint to spearmint change would be OK. –  derobert Oct 26 '11 at 11:43
    
@rumtscho: I know they taste different, I've used both for tea and I like both tastes. And since that's what I have in my garden, that's what I'm using. I hadn't thought of just freezing the mint directly. Would using frozen vs. fresh mint have a different taste? Would freezing it make it taste weaker? If using frozen or fresh mint to make the tea is the same, I think you've got a better idea there. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Oct 26 '11 at 13:28
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Some of the volatile flavors will be diminished, but I've managed to make fairly good drinks with the help of mint that I kept frozen. In my experience, freezer burn starts to become visible after two or three months, and starts to harm flavor probably around 4-6 months.

I'm not sure preparing the drink will work really well, but if you just defrost the drink in the refrigerator, it probably won't be terrible. Active thawing with heat will probably cause some harm. Many infusions and teas become a bit cloudy and lose color after bottling or freezing, which is why most bottled teas use an enzyme (not usually a listed ingredient) designed to mitigate that.

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Thanks! I don't plan to let it sit frozen for more than a couple weeks. When you say active thawing would cause harm, do you then suggest I let it thaw naturally on the counter before making any tea from it? As for infusions becoming cloudy/losing colour when frozen: I'm mostly concerned about flavour, I would accept some aesthetic losses as long as the flavour is not badly affected. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Oct 27 '11 at 14:32
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I'd probably thaw in the refrigerator for safety and quality reasons, although it would take longer, but otherwise, yes. –  JasonTrue Oct 29 '11 at 4:56
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