Mint Varieties: From Chocolate Mint to Peppermint

Updated on February 7, 2020
E. A. Wright profile image

E. A. Wright lives in the New York City area, but the West Coast is home. Her passions include words, flowers, hiking, and music.

Mint comes in many varieties. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Mint comes in many varieties. Photo by E. A. Wright.

All Kinds of Mints

Most days, mint is just a flavor that finds me only after it has been confined to little pebble-shaped sugar pellets or entombed inside globs of unnaturally blue, inedible paste. It can be hard to remember that mint is actually a living, green plant and not just the chemical dream of some mouthwash product developer.

Mints—as in the wide variety of live mint plants thriving throughout the world—are hardy, versatile herbs. Their flavors are far from uniform, and the sensation of eating a piece a fresh mint is a far cry from from the sensation of Standard Issue Toothpaste.

Rediscovering Fresh Mint

One of the pleasures I've found in growing herbs on my windowsill this year has come from rediscovering fresh mint. It's fascinating to experience the subtle differences in the appearance, scent, and flavor of differing kinds of mints.

After much observation and several taste tests, these are the impressions I've formed of the kinds of mints I'm growing, from spearmint to orange mint to peppermint.

  1. Spearmint
  2. Orange Mint
  3. Pineapple Mint
  4. Peppermint
  5. Chocolate Mint

Spearmint. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Spearmint. Photo by E. A. Wright.

1. Spearmint

Spearmint looks the most like The Classic Mint, if such a mint exists. The leaves are a bright, vibrant green with spiky edges. The texture of of the leaves is crinkled and wrinkled like the skin of an alligator. The taste is not at all sweet. It tastes like greenery that's been laced with tingling, numbing superpowers. It's refreshing. It's what I would want topping an ice-cold lemonade in the summertime.

Orange mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Orange mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.

2. Orange Mint

Orange mint has a softer smell than spearmint, and it has a slightly floral hint to it. Since I know the plant is called orange mint, perhaps this is the power of suggestion kicking in, but the smell is similar to the smell of citrus blossoms. It's like the scent of sweet mint jelly or the way I'd imagine mint used as garnish on a cake might smell after bathing in fruity frosting for a day. Yet the taste is slightly sour.

Orange mint leaves are a slightly deeper green than spearmint; the edges less ragged; the ridges on the surface much more symmetrically spaced. The leaves curve slightly, like little shells or umbrellas.

Pineapple mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Pineapple mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.

3. Pineapple Mint

Pineapple mint may be the most appealing mint to look at, but it's my least favorite in terms of taste. The flavor is very mild: slightly bitter, slightly buttery, faintly burnt-rubbery. It's a pretty garnish, that's all, with its striking patches of yellow-white breaking up the frilly, fuzzy, irregularly shaped green leaves.

Peppermint. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Peppermint. Photo by E. A. Wright.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is intense. As I chew a fresh peppermint leaf, the plant's distinguishing cooling and numbing abilities sensation take over entire sections of my tongue in turn. The effect lingers for minutes, making every breath of air taste faintly sweet.

Peppermint leaves are deep green, and they're longer and much more pointed than spearmint leaves. They're also are much flatter than the curling orange mint leaves, but they share the same kind of symmetry.

Chocolate mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.
Chocolate mint. Photo by E. A. Wright.

5. Chocolate Mint

Chocolate mint lives up to its name. This is a true dessert mint. Simply plucking a chocolate mint leaf and holding it in front of me, I can already smell something sweet. Like all mints, chocolate mint has a taste that's overpowered by its tingle, but chocolate mint numbs ever so gently. The leaves look very similar to the leaves of peppermint, but the stems have a distinct brownish-purplish tinge.

More Mint Varieties

  • Licorice mint
  • Apple mint
  • Ginger mint

How to Grow Mint

Mint is one of the easiest edible plants to grow indoors. Mint plants have a reputation as hard to destroy, wherever they are grown. I've found that a mint plant shoved to the darkest corner spot on the windowsill will survive, and even a young mint plant that goes without water for nearly a week will spring back to life quickly.

The only real requirement is a big pot to grow it in; this stuff shoots up and spreads quickly. But if you like mint, that's a great thing.

Eating Mint

  • Mint is used as much more than garnish. It is often paired with lamb, but it is just as often paired with lemon, or chocolate. It is regularly used in teas, candies, ice creams, jellies, chutneys and sauces.
  • Mint leaves are edible. So are mint flowers.

Recipes That Call for Mint

What's your favorite kind of mint?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Sue Adams 

      8 days ago

      GREAT article thank u!! Im sharing it w/ my FB group - PEPPERMINT PASSION & MINT MADNESS! All mint lovers are welcome- ck it out

    • profile image

      American citizen 

      9 months ago

      GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Catherine Pogorzelski 

      2 years ago

      Making some dentifrice, with baking soda, my organic homegrown spearmint and organic coconut oil! NOTE: Mix 3 (spearmint) to 1 to 1 ratio of oil and baking soda and ONLY use a spoon to remove what is needed each night you want to brush, then dip brush into what you have removed from jar, do NOT redip a brush that has been in your mouth into the mix or germs WILL grow! Make more as needed!


    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have a mint plant that has a faint smell of passionfruit.

    • profile image

      Terry Ord 

      3 years ago

      You have confused your description of spearmint and peppermint. Spearmint has the more pointed leaves (like a spear) and peppermint leaves are more rounded. Peppermint was developed circa 1750 by crossing spearmint with watermint.

    • E. A. Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      E. A. Wright 

      9 years ago from New York City

      @ Stephanie: Thanks! I love adding bits of crushed mint to drinks, too.

      @ AliciaC: Mint really is easy to grow. I thought I had finally managed to kill my pineapple mint this winter. But nope. It's back again.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      9 years ago from USA

      I love mint and have several varieties in my flower beds. My favorite thing to do is to pinch off a few leaves and crush them so that I can enjoy the scent while sipping lemonade on the patio. Thanks for an informative hub! I really enjoyed it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the information about the different kinds of mint. You described some varieties that I'm not familiar with. Chocolate mint sounds intriguing! I like the fact that mint plants are so easy to grow. I'll be growing some mint plants soon, and I'm going to look for some of the varieties that you mention.

    • twogroce profile image


      9 years ago

      I love mint especially with chocolate. The Andees Candy is a personal favorate. If I knew how to make those I think I might be in trouble. Thank you for sharing all of this great information with us!

      God bless!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)