Twinings Peppermint Tea from Tea Tasters
June 27, 2016 Twinings
Peppermint or Mentha Piperita is this month’s choice for our Tea Tasters.
We think of peppermint as a herbal infusion or tisane, a word of Greek origin meaning infusion of herbal plants, as opposed to the black, green, or white teas. It’s a naturally derived hybrid of water mint (Mentha Aquatica) and green mint (Mentha Spicata).
We know that Peppermint was used by the ancient Egyptians, as dried leaves have been found inside pyramids dating back to 1000BC, but it was perhaps the ancient Greeks who first made note of Mentha, with a story routed in Greek mythology….. Hades, the Greek God of the Underworld, fell in love with a beautiful river spirit girl called Minthe. Not surprisingly, this upset his wife. Hades tried to soothe the quarrel, with the result that the unfortunate girl was changed into a beautiful plant called Minthe.
One of the first European records of peppermint was that of English Botanist John Ray in 1696 and is later noted in Linnaeus’s “Species Plantarum” in 1753. It’s first commercial growing is traced to 1851, in Mitcham, England, where “Mitcham Mint” is mentioned for having been grown there for at least 100 years as a medicinal plant.