What’s The Difference Between Mint and Peppermint

Are you trying to decide whether to use peppermint or spearmint? You have nothing to worry about.

Many of the foods that we consume on a regular basis, from breath mints to mint chocolate chip ice cream, have mint as an ingredient because of its energizing and delectable flavor. However, none of these goods, not even toothpaste, nor sweets, mention the specific kind of mint that was used in their production. 

There are over 15 different kinds of mint, including spearmint, peppermint, orange mint, and apple mint, despite the fact that most recipes and even grocery shops refer to mint as if it were a single herb. Examples of this include orange mint and apple mint. The two prominent types of mint, peppermint and spearmint, are both utilized often in culinary settings.

Peppermint Vs. Spearmint

Difference Between Mint and Peppermint

Even while using the wrong kind of mint (peppermint or spearmint) in a recipe won’t necessarily spoil your product, there are distinct flavor and application variations between the two kinds of mint.


The aroma of peppermint is often described as strong or even spicy. (You have to admit, its name is starting to seem a little more appropriate, don’t you?) In addition, even though spearmint is perhaps the more well-known of the two types of mint, peppermint is actually a natural combination of spearmint and water mint. This provides an explanation for why it is far more powerful than its analogue. Because peppermint is a hybrid of two different kinds of mint, it has a far greater concentration of menthol than spearmint does (40 percent as opposed to 0.5 percent). It is the chemical component known as menthol that is responsible for producing that well-known and much-desired tingling sensation in the tongue.

It’s possible that you’ve observed that peppermint makes a more noticeable presence in the food sections of grocery stores just during the winter holidays. Despite this, peppermint’s invigorating flavor is excellent for enjoying at any time of the year, and not only in the kitchen. There are a wide variety of therapeutic applications for peppermint. It is well renowned for its ability to ease tension, as well as calm unsettled stomachs, halt runny noses, and soothe sore throats and aching muscles. Because of its robust flavor, it pairs particularly well with sugary dishes, particularly those that contain chocolate. As a result, the instances in which you will remember this mint most fondly are probably when it is crushed on top of an ooey-gooey lava cake or when it is swirled into a hand-warming mug of hot cocoa.


In contrast to peppermint, spearmint possesses a more subtle flavor and aroma, one that is sometimes characterized as being sweet. It derives its taste from the chemical component known as carvone, which, in comparison to the flavoring agent known as menthol, is considerably more subdued and does not provide the same tingling feeling. The most common applications for spearmint may be found in the culinary and commercial spheres (think shaving creams and toothpaste). However, it does have some remarkable therapeutic effects, such as the capacity to ease nausea and hiccups. These benefits are not to be underestimated.

Because the most well-known application of the herb is in Wrigley’s Extra Spearmint Gum (you know the one! ), it may come as a surprise to learn that spearmint is frequently used in savory recipes in the kitchen, which is the opposite of peppermint. It doesn’t matter whether it’s incorporated into a tzatziki sauce that’s drizzled over a rack of lamb, carefully folded into a spring roll that’s packed with pork and vegetables, or muddled into a mojito that’s sure to refresh, spearmint is sure to let the other flavors in the dish shine alongside it, which is why it’s a favorite ingredient of many chefs all over the world.

Stem: Peppermint Vs. Spearmint

Peppermint steams are purple in hue. The peppermint and spearmint both have green stems, however the peppermint stems are much more prominently colored with a faint purple color.

Both spearmint and peppermint have square stems and some hair surrounding them, however the amount of hair on spearmint stems is significantly more noticeable. This property is shared by a great number of different species under the genus Mentha.

Leaves: Peppermint Vs. Spearmint

When opposed to its more slender sibling, peppermint leaves, spearmint leaves have a more pronounced spear form and are often bigger in size. In addition, the veins in peppermint leaves may be purple or dark red, and they may be more prominent on the rear of the leaf. The veins in spearmint leaves, on the other hand, are just green. There’s a possibility that the peppermint’s younger leaves had purple margins too.

In comparison to the leaves of peppermint, spearmint has more minute hairs on its margins and the edges of its leaves are more pointed. In addition, spearmint tends to have a rougher texture than its cousin, peppermint, in general.

Both peppermint and spearmint have oppositely arranged pairs of leaves on their plants. Each leaf in the pair is facing in the opposite direction as its companion. If you look at the stem of spearmint or peppermint from the top, you will see that the next pair of leaves in the stem are facing the opposite direction as the previous pair. This will create the shape of a cross.

Flower: Peppermint Vs. Spearmint

Both spearmint and peppermint have blooms that are constructed quite similarly. Each bloom is only a few millimeters long, and they grow in clusters that are arranged in the shape of a cone. The flowers of spearmint can be either pink or white, but the blooms of peppermint are typically pink and a shade or two darker than those of spearmint.

Taste: Peppermint Vs. Spearmint

Consuming one of either species’ leaves, or preferably half of one, is the most straightforward method for distinguishing spearmint from peppermint. In point of fact, peppermint possesses a taste that is far more robust and astringent than spearmint does. Some people have compared the flavors to that of sweet candies with a minty aftertaste.

On the other hand, spearmint has a flavor that is more sweet and less powerful than peppermint, and many people like the flavor of spearmint since it is much gentler. In comparison to peppermint, spearmint has a very low menthol level (more on this in a little), which accounts for the significant variation in flavor.

If you’ve ever tried dried mint, you shouldn’t bother with it. The flavor of the fresh peppermint leaves is noticeably more robust and “denser.”

Culinary Use: Spearmint Vs Peppermint

When it comes to food preparation, spearmint, not peppermint, is the herb of choice. In point of fact, peppermint is most frequently utilized in culinary applications, such as the preparation of candies, ice cream, and hot chocolate.

What Should You Grow: Spearmint Or Peppermint?

Both peppermint and spearmint are simple plants that thrive in an indoor environment. Nevertheless, which option should you pick? Spearmint is the way to go if you are looking for something that is both simple to use and quick to provide effects.

Why?  It is extremely possible that you will be able to get them at the local grocery shop for a price that is lower than one dollar or (British pound) in both the United Kingdom and the United States. If you want to use mint in the kitchen, spearmint is a far better option than peppermint since it is more versatile and can be used in a wider variety of dishes.

Spearmint Vs Peppermint Gum?

As a result of its more subdued flavor compared to that of peppermint, spearmint is the type of mint that the vast majority of individuals prefer, given that not everyone enjoys a flavor that is both intense (and somewhat sweeter) and assertive.


At first appearance, spearmint and peppermint are very similar and might be mistaken for one another. However, you can tell the difference between the two by the form of the leaves, the color, and the amount of hair on them. Nevertheless, the flavor is the most reliable indicator of their identity. In point of fact, the flavor of a peppermint leaf is far more robust than that of a spearmint leaf.

Because it has a more robust flavor than spearmint, peppermint is often only used in sweets and tea. Due to the herb’s high methanol content, its essential oils are in great demand on the market and among online sellers. This is mostly due to the herb’s aroma, which is known for its sedative and soothing properties.


Should You Get A Mint Essential Oil?

Why should we? They don’t cost much (less than ten dollars total) and have the potential to fill my home with a wonderful aroma. I do not utilize them as pain relievers, despite the fact that many people claim they are beneficial against tooth pain and the pain associated with scoliosis, amongst other types of pain.

Should You Choose Peppermint Or Spearmint Tea?

Tea made from peppermint has a more robust flavor and aroma than tea made from spearmint. Indeed, because it contains a higher concentration of menthol (refer to the section that came before this one for more information on menthol), it will have a more intensely revitalizing flavor (one that is somewhat reminiscent of the flavor of mint gum), along with a flavor that is somewhat sweet or saccharine. The flavor, according to a few of my other acquaintances, has an earthy quality to it.

Therefore, if you want a strong cup of tea (like a black one, for example), peppermint is also a good choice for you. If you discover that it is too potent for your taste, you may dilute it with another type of tea, such as green tea, or you can just steep the tea bag for a shorter amount of time.

Should You Fertilize Your Mint?

In most cases, mint does not require any kind of fertilizer. This hardy plant has adapted over time to be able to thrive in a wide range of different types of soil. However, if you are still interested in getting the most out of it, adding some minerals to your preferred herb is a good idea.

Nevertheless, utilizing them in an incorrect quantity (or type) might cause severe damage (quite literally burn) to your mint. You may get some advice on which fertilizer to use, how frequently to use it, and when by reading the post that follows.

How Many Mint Varieties And Cultivars Exist?

There are more than 600 distinct kinds of mint plants, including peppermint and spearmint, each of which may be grown in its own unique cultivar. When it comes to both the way they taste and the way they look, there is a wide range of differences.

What Are The Medicinal Use Of Mint Plants?

Mint has been utilized in both traditional and alternative forms of medicine for an untold amount of time, in addition to its many applications in the culinary world, which range from imparting taste to foods to serving as a decorative garnish.

From the United States to China, mint has a long history of usage as a traditional herbal medicine in a variety of different civilizations.

How To Identify Better Spearmint And Peppermint?

You may utilize Android identification applications like as PlantNet, which is one of the finest in terms of accurately identifying herbs, if you have an affinity for cutting-edge technology.