To make tea you literally put leaves in hot water. That’s it. There doesn’t need to be all kinds of waste or packaging involved, however it does help to have a good steeping vessel to submerge into the water that keeps the leaves from floating around in the water.
To make tea from scratch you simply harvest the leaves, and hang them up to dry. I hung bundles of leaves from coat hangers in a closet. If you want to speed up the process you can also put them in the oven at a low setting to have a similar effect.
Once the leaves are dry you’ll want to separate them from the stems and branches. I found the easiest method was to put them in a bag, thrash them around, and mash up the leaves with my hands. The small leaves will fall to the bottom of the bag and you can pick the branches and stems off the top.
To make tea I use a cold brew tea infuser kit. (This post contains an affiliate link to the product I use). This allows me to pour in the leaves and insert them into the water without needing a bag and string. It also lets me compost the leaves easily when I’m finished using them. I typically add one or two big spoonfuls of leaves to my 2qt jar.
Spearmint tea has a nice taste to it however seeing as I am a beekeeper, I like to sweeten it with some honey from one of my hives.