Les 2 Marmottes, herbal tea made in France, in partnership with small producers
Alain produces the peppermint that we use in recipes that need a fresh appeal! He shares his passion with our brewmasters.
Alain, known as 'Loulou', fell for mint when he was a child. To mark the 5 am peppermint harvest, he agreed to answer some of our brewmasters questions. And he's not one to mess around.
What are the benefits of peppermint? Why is it so powerful in our herbal teas?
The reason is its exceptional concentration of menthol. Mint contains menthone and menthol. It's the menthol that gives it its freshness. Milly-la-Forêt peppermint is an even more aromatic variety than standard peppermint. Even though I'm used to it, it still stings my eyes when I'm drying it!
Getting up to harvest at 5 can also be pretty painful! Why harvest mint so early in the morning?
Because it has to be harvested "fresh," while it's still full of dew. This ensures optimum preservation until it is dried.
When is mint harvested?
Peppermint is grown to very precise specifications. For example, mint should not be watered for two weeks before cutting. The first cut takes place in the first week of June, the second in July.
Once cut, where does the mint go?
You have to move very quickly to avoid damaging the leaf. The mint is cut immediately. Then it is then put through a hot-air dryer and stored in another dryer with a chestnut floor. After drying, it is packed into boxes before being shipped directly to Les 2 Marmottes in Haute-Savoie!
What's your favourite Les 2 Marmottes tea?
What do you think? All the ones with my peppermint in them! OK, I admit, I have a soft spot for Liquorice Mint...