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Chocolate Mint 

Mentha x piperita subsp.citrata ‘chocolate’

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The leaves are falling all over my chocolate mint

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I bought my first mini-me-computer the other day or new smartphone that has all the widgets my laptop has, but in mini size. A fascinating tool! I do not play computer games or need to be connected to Wi-Fi every second, but I did need one when I was away from my home computer + had to get some work done. We waited for many years to upgrade to wait for the right time. We bought it used,shoot; we carried a “bag phone” until the cell phones became affordable for everyone. I can remember pulling out that bag phone in its black case and hooking it up to my car as I dialed home to my husband. I loved the faces on others around me as they watched and wondered what the heck that phone in a bag was in my car. Priceless their faces! We kept that bag phone because it worked, and the cell phone plans were just too high in the early years. We sipped our tea and waited.

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It was not easy for me to give up my “dumb phone” for it has been a useful tool for many years. I have watched everyone around me with new phones, but we waited  until it was “right” for us, and the time was right this past weekend. My razor phone broke last year, and I was using another dumb phone which worked fine until some pieces broke off a month ago. I still waited and sipped my tea…

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 The new smartphones this year are now mini-computers and they will allow me to do the work I need on them and finally they are filled with useful tools. I did not need a new phone for games or fancy apps, I do not need to be entertained while I stand in line, or wait for an appointment. I enjoy talking to people and do not need to check my e-mail or social media every 10 seconds.I needed one that would help me get my work done that I do when I am away from my home computer. It also had to be at the right price, and until that happened, I waited and sipped my tea.

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A month ago, as I was sipping my herbal tea and paying bills on-line, I noticed, I was no longer saving much money with my dumb phone!I was only paying $10.00 less for my dumb phone vs. the new smart phone/mini-computer. How did that slip by me!

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The technology finally caught up to what I needed it for, and now the time was “right” to sack my dumb phone just like my bag phone year ago.My dumb phone needed to be put to rest. I had sipped my tea long enough + it was time to make a move. It only added 20.00 dollars to my bill a month. Something I could afford since my mini-computer ( aka smart phone) had a larger screen, and WiFi is everywhere so data use would not be a problem!

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My work is around dirt + a bit wet so having a phone a little more protective to these elements is a plus! Now the cell phone is an easy thing to upgrade but when you look at a car that is another story. I believe, I will be sipping my lovely mint chocolate herbal tea a long time! We fixed our 98 truck this summer that helps my husband + I get our jobs done. Well, our old cars run well + we don’t need them to turn into a boat and cross water or talk to us, which means, I will sip my tea and wait. Now if they eventually spread wings and fly + are affordable….

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….then I will no longer sip my tea and wait ,,,I will UPGRADE!!!!

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The Plant to share!

If you have a neighbor that grows this, or, you can find this lovely plant it is worth growing in your garden. It is not grown from seed. You need a plant or a clump from another gardener. It makes great herbal cold and hot tea. We are enjoying it now that the weather is getting cold outside as a hot tea. During the summer, I make a pitcher of cold chocolate mint tea all the time. It is refreshing. It also is wonderful to add to recipes. I use this chocolate mint in cookies-YUM!

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

47 comments

  1. I like the way you think about the modern world Robbie! It is a good thing to be able to wait until technology [and price] suits us perfectly rather than be waiting in line for the latest release only to find it is not up to what we expect. The sipping of chocolate mint tea whilst waiting is also most alluring 🙂 I grew that in my previous garden, but it was by the sea and never did that well there. I must add this too to my ever expanding list of plants I cannot live without – see, I’m just as bad about plants now as the young are about technology…… 🙂

    1. I have to think that way + tune out what the popular culture tells us we need. I have been texting the “old way” for years-lol.I know we will have to retire our “old” cars some day for they are starting to cost more to repair + we can get a ” newer-used-car” which won’t cost as much. But that day is not here yet. I see others with newer cars + I feel no need to keep up. I like the idea of buying an older car for it has proven its worth + safety after a few years. They recall so many of them now. We even buy them used from a car rental. Our 2000 toyota ( purchased from a rental place 1 yr old) is still running great + taught 3 kids to drive and now is with my son in graduate school-great car!
      I love plants but I have had to cancel my subscriptions to some garden magazines that just try to get you to purchase the “new” + “improved” plant… I am weak-lol-It is addictive:-) You have a new garden so you can have fun with it. I have to tone it down for I have no more room! lol

  2. That tea looks wonderful – does it just taste of mint or chocolate too? I still have my dumb phone (great expression btw) and will hold on to it for as long as possible!

    1. Yes, it tastes like chocolate mints! You can’t start it from seed but a cutting from another garden ( or clump) or you can order it from an herb grower. It is amazing as a hot tea + makes great mint flavoring in desserts. I made some mint cookies from it. I just went outside + it was 28 degrees ( 5pm here now) + it still will make a cup of tea. Dumb phones are great! I just decided it was time for me to switch + upgrade. Hard to find my favorite, the razor today-lol

  3. Robbie!… I also have a mint plant in my garden… I’ll definitely try the mint tea very soon. Thanks for the “organic” idea. Best wishes!. Aquileana 😀

  4. Love the photos of your tea and leaves!! One more thing on my list to look for! I’m a chocolate hound–and to think–no calories!!! 🙂

    1. Yep, no calories and it really does taste good! It takes care of that chocolate attack-lol:-) I would try an herb seller or look locally at your nursery in the herbs. It is not sold as seed so you will need a plant to start with if you want a patch of chocolate mint. The tea is amazing hot or cold-trust me! I got my first clump from my mother and it just started giving me enough for my daily use. I may be without it here soon for snow is coming. It tolerates frost pretty well. I was out harvesting some last night before dark. It was 29 degrees yesterday so it was a bit stiff. it thawed out and I made a nice pot of tea for dinner. It is good for an upset stomach, too:-) I also love to cook with it! I made some great mint cookies one time—but they had calories!!! But so worth it:-)

  5. Firstly, I must get some chocolate mint. Yours is the second blog I have read today that praises chocolate mint. I appreciate your good sense in sipping tea and waiting until the right moment to upgrade. I am on the verge of upgrading to a tablet; at the stage of considering options. However it is good to remember when upgrading how costly to the environment our technological gadgetry can be, especially if recycling options are poor. As for cars; I am happy with my little car. It is about 14 years old and we go well together. 🙂

    1. You have to get this little plant it makes the most amazing herbal tea. I have a lot of different mints in my yard but this is my favorite. I got it from my mother. I was visiting her one time and she had some in her garden. She told me she got it from her friend that made a dessert that she needed it for all the time. She decided to grow it and then gave a “clump” to my mother + my mother gave me a “clump!” It is a great plant to share because it is not usually started from seed. I would find a store that sells herbs for they will have a variety of mints. I have mine in the half/shade which works wonderfully. It is pretty easy to keep under control for I tend to use A LOT of it! It is down to 20 degrees here and I harvested some from the garden before dark last night. It was a bit “stiff” but thawed out inside enough to put into my teapot for dinner. YUM! I don’t know if it will be viable much longer for we are expecting snow soon!
      I know older cars and I get along great-lol. I look at the cars with all the widgets + gadgets on the dash board and I feel it is just too much! I don’t need to live in my car!

      1. Chocolate mint it is then. Next time my old car and I are out and about we will try to remember to stop by the garden centre for chocolate mint. Hopefully they will have some. My dear car hasn’t seen me for about 3 days. We’ve both been resting from our trip across country.

  6. Chocolate mint is new to me, I will see if I can find it.
    I do have a mobile phone which I keep for emergencies. I am always baffled when I see people in restaurants ignoring their companions and either texting or talking to other people. How odd to be always wanting to talk to the people you are not with but to show no interest in the people you are with. The same thing at the theatre. As soon as the interval comes people ignore their companions and frantically check their messages or send texts. They are like smokers who have been deprived of their fix for an hour.

    1. It is not started from seeds. I got my first clump from my mother’s garden. She had a friend that made an amazing dessert with this chocolate mint. It is a pass along plant.If you can’t find a gardener than check a nursery that grows varieties of mints. It is an amazing plant! The herbal tea is so refreashing. I love it cold /hot. We had some last night. It was in the 20’s here last night so I picked it a bit “stiff” + it thawed out inside. I put a bunch in my my tea pot and it was so good!
      I did find these places that sell mints in UK: maybe these will help:-)
      http://mentha.info/collectorsources.html
      lol..that is so true all the examples you gave:-) I will continue to leave mine in another room but eventually we will be canceling our land line after I move my parents closer. They have cell phones and live up north. I need to have a phone that is dependable to contact them. I never have my phone out when I have people over for dinner/out to eat/in the store etc…I talk to people. I still enjoy my “disconnect” time and want to keep it that way! I enjoy face to face conversatons:-) My kids are another story-they have that silly phone next to them but I must admit it usually is for their work.

  7. I just updated my computer from 2001 … WOW! I should make my own teas – God knows I have enough mint, lemon balm, and chamomile out in the garden while I wait another 13 yrs to upgrade! I confess I love my iPhone. And I confess I am addicted to one game: Plants vs. Zombies (which I read about on You Grow Girl)!

    1. lol:-) I buy used computers from this guy that gets them from a local business after they dump them:-) It works great! As for games-I figure if I don’t start I will never miss them-lol:-)
      I love lemon Balm tea at night-it puts me out + is great for stress! I am allergic to chamomile tea-but I would use it if I could! I have other mints but this one is the best for cold /hot tea. If you have mints you will have tea all the time! I got an upset stomach a few weeks ago + read that mint is good for upset stomachs-it worked! Health benefits, too:-) I drink a lot of herbal teas:-)

  8. I miss my first car, before computers took over the world, I could look under the hood and understand how it all worked 🙂

    1. boy ain’t that the truth!!! Today they hook the car up to the computer to check what is wrong:-) I even remember studying ” how engines worked” in elementary school! Today you need a degree to look under the engine–no one fixing them in the backyard under an old tree-lol

    1. I know you would love this mint! You would find some way to use it creatively-I have no doubt. It does make a great tasting tea + it helped with an upset stomach, I had last week:-)
      I really liked my razor phone because I could stick it in my back pocket when I rode my bike:-) It finally died. We shall see how it goes. I am not into game playing or interested in
      putting apps on my phone. I like the fact, I can use it when I am out of town as my computer and not have to drag all my stuff with me on the road. WiFi is every where now so that works
      to our advantage:-) I still will leave it in my purse + enjoy the people around me. I can’t stand hanging around people that are texting or checking their phone the whole time you are out with them. I will never be that attached to any device. I use to misplace my other cell phone,too. I guess,bag phones were early cell phone-they were different!

      1. I think smart phones come in really hand for stuff on the net when you aren’t home, I would like one and no, not into games and apps either. Sometimes at work it’s really quiet and I would love to be able to do computer stuff there.

        I actually bought chocolate mint years ago to put in a different garden but forgot about it and it died in the pot 🙂 Must get one, it smelled delicious.

      2. Oh you have to get some again:-) It really does smell delicious!!!!
        I believe when the technology is useful to us then it is the right time:-) I have a friend that uses all kinds of apps when we ride the river trail with our bikes. She purchased a stand for her phone to go on her bike. I never wanted one myself, but she enjoys using the apps for her phone. I told her, I just ride my bike based on how I feel + don’t need to figure out how far, what speed, route, calories burned or heart rate etc. I don’t need to compare my workouts, but she enjoys using her apps on her phone. Everyone uses technology for what they “feel” they need it for which leads me to believe, we all use it for different reasons. I, as you would enjoy doing computer stuff when I am not near my home computer, but for all the apps + games it really dose not interest me. I go out of town and hate to load all the stuff so this will be a good way for me to keep updated and not fall too far behind:-)

      3. Yep, we are all different. My son is a big fan of apps for this and apps for that. I just text sometimes and very occasionally make a phone call on mine lol. But yeah, one would be handy at times.

  9. “sometimes i sits and thinks and sometimes i just sits”… penniless student hippies know how to sit and wait…unless…they really and truely desperately want a nice new camera for their 50th birthday that is ;). Enter the online search equivalent for the Holy Grail. Glad you upgraded and got what you need. We don’t use apps. They are just a means to get more money out of you and are slowly eroding the free part of the net so we just use our phone to talk to each other when one of us isn’t there and to send the odd picture of our garden to our gardening friend. The camera however…that is a different matter! 😉

    1. I waited a long time for my new camera. I am still waiting for a macro lens. That is not in the picture right now. I did purchase some cheap attachments ( +1/2etc) which work, okay-10.00-lol a set!
      I had a cheap camera for 10 years but I made the investment about 3 yrs ago + I am still learning all about the bells and whistles!
      I am glad you told me about the apps. I will not be loading those on my phone. I don’t need to be glued to the camera like I am to my computer-every day!!! My husband needed one for his work so it was a Christmas present to each other-we are practical people:-)

      1. Steve has just decided to pay a bit more for a camera that will accept and activate his old Nikon lenses from his expensive old SLR so how frugal is that? 🙂 He can then save up (forever probably 😉 ) for new fully automatic lenses while being able to utilise his old lenses albeit not completely automatically but at least they get new life 🙂

      2. I feel like this camera is a lifer-lol My first camera I purchased for myself was back in 1976:-) It still works just film is a bit hard to find-lol

      3. Steve had a really lovely Nikon SLR but when film stopped being easy to find we started buying cheap digital cameras. I have been told that I get to inherit his Canon when he buys this next one so goodness only knows what my blog photos will look like from that point on. Most probably no better than they currently do 😉

    2. plus..I am planting microgreens all over my growing room this week. I am starting to spend less time at my computer. I have to work on my photos + putting them into my blog Palm Rae Potager plants…but once I get that done, I want to be away more often. I am having fun growing my baby greens. I will post about it!

    1. Lrong just wrote me that Chocolate Mint is quite rare in Japan:-( sooo. I researched for him but I could not read some of the sights. You keep spreading the love around! It is a useful plant:-)
      Do you make tea? I have to ask- do you cook with it? I am curious since you are an amazing cook!

      1. I haven’t ever cooked with chocolate mint but I hear it makes amazing icecream. As it is almost summer, that might be on the cards :). Poor Lrong! Now we have to work out how to get him some…

  10. Hi Robbie… after reading your post, I think I might just try to go look for the chocolate mint here in Japan… apparently, it is quite rare in Japan…

    1. Hi Lrong:-) It does not grow from seed so you have to take cuttings. I would send you seed if I had it, you know:-) I looked around a bit and only came up with this list for nurseries. I sure hope you find some for it is a useful plant. This is a very unique plant. I have Peppermint + this is not another peppermint plant-it truly has a patty mint flavor!

      http://tokyo.angloinfo.com/af/432/garden-equipment-and-nurseries.html

      http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/56869/#b

      info I found at Dave’s garden:
      Let me know if you find it-the tea is AMAZING! You can also use it in desserts:-)

  11. Somehow, I know you *will* be smart about the siren call of the always-on smartphone, Robbie!!! But if even you switched over, I may soon be the last woman in America without one. 😉

    1. :-)lol..I was one of the last one in my territory:-) It really was only 10.00 more a month which seemed stupid to keep my dumb phone, but now, I don’t need another computer/note pad when I am away from my “used” desk top( out of town). We got it used, too:-) I also have computer(s) that are early 90’s-lol- we just build them up! We purchase them used from a local guy that refurbishes computers that local businesses throw away + he helps keep them running-pricesless!!!

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