A few years ago I came across green tea flavored mints. At the time, I remember thinking “Wow, how fancy!” Of course, I had to get a box, but after trying them I was disappointed…where was all that promised earthy green tea flavor? With some gumpaste leftover from my cake projects and good quality matcha on hand, I decided to take a shot at making some tea mints of my own today.
Why would you bother making mints at home? The simple answer is that these are a perfect treat for the matcha enthusiast. You’ll be able to use only the best quality tea here, and it’s an added bonus that these portable matcha mints make it easy for you to enjoy the refreshing taste of matcha anywhere you want!
Today I’m using Mizuba Tea’s Daily Matcha, both in these mints and also to coat them. It’s not the cheapest to use drinking quality matcha in a recipe, but because the matcha here is eaten straight up in a peppery mint, it’s flavor can be fully appreciated. Mizuba's Culinary Organic Matcha is also a wonderful option. The moment the mint hits your tongue, you’ll taste pure powdery matcha, just the ingredient you need to give your mints a clean, bright tea flavor.
The hardest part of this recipe is punching the mints out. Since you have to do this one at a time, the task can feel quite mechanical, but it’s also relaxing (and faster) once you get a good groove going. The best part of the mint-making process is dusting them with a small bowl of fresh matcha powder in the finishing step. No sifter needed here, just use your fingers to shake of any excess matcha from the mints…the more matcha that clings on to the candies, the better!
Once the mints have dried completely hard, you can place them in small metal tins. I found these round tins in the wedding favor section of my local craft store, where you’ll find many other shapes and sizes of tins choose from in addition to these. A tie of baker’s twine around a clear tin filled matcha mints creates an instantly charming and colorful little party favor.
Remember to make these Lemon Matcha Mints with only the best matcha you can find! When your taste buds need a bit of freshening during the course of the day, these mints deliver a bright and lively pop of pure tea flavor.
Lemon Matcha Mints
Makes 1 cup of mints.
1/2 lb. gumpaste
4 tsp matcha powder (I used Mizuba Tea’s Daily Matcha)
2 tsp lemon juice powder or a few drops of lemon oil
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
mini fondant cutters or sharp knife
1.) Knead 2 tsp of matcha and 2 tsp of lemon powder into the gumpaste. If the gumpaste is too stiff, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it. Knead until the powders are evenly incorporated into the gumpaste.
2.) Add the extract to the gumpaste, then knead it in thoroughly. If the gumpaste gets too stiff, you can again place it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften.
3.) Roll the gumpaste out with the rolling-pin on a work surface lightly dusted with matcha. Roll the gumpaste to a thickness of 1/4″. Place the other 2 tsp of the matcha in a small bowl. Dust each cutter into the matcha. Punch out mints from the rolled gumpaste. If the mints stick to the cutters, use the end of a straw to push them out. You can also cut the mints out with a sharp knife into 1/4″ squares.
4.) Place mints into the small bowl with the matcha and roll them around. Remove the mints from the bowl, shaking off any excess matcha back into the bowl. Place the mints on a sheet of parchment to dry until completely hardened, preferably for at least 12 hours or overnight before packing.
Thanks to Bonnie at "Thirsty for Tea" for this marvelous recipe!