The dried mint experiment is a total success. I stuffed a tin to bursting with dried mint leaves, mostly whole. So far, all I'm using them for is tea. It's wonderful.
Using whole leaves to brew tea may not be standard practice--but why not? Were hundreds of years' worth of shipments of tea leaves from China and India compressed and crushed in ship holds? Did merchants crush their tea leaves purposely to pack shipping containers more fully, or to conceal any substandard characteristics? Or is there some brewing purpose--do crushed leaves release more flavor than whole?
Whatever the case, I'm more than happy to brew my mint tea with whole leaves.
So I make big pitchers of iced tea. I throw a big handful of dried mint leaves into a tea strainer, put it in my squat little pitcher--or, if the pitcher is already full of iced green tea, into a warmed quart jar--and drench it with a teapot's worth of just-boiled water. After steeping, I put it in the refrigerator, lidless and still steaming, to cool down. A couple hours later, I have enough tea to last the afternoon.
Now I just have to keep from drinking gallons of mint tea at a time.
Oh, wait, no, I don't. Mint tea has no caffeine! It's just mint and water! I can drink it late into the night and go to sleep with no problems whatsoever! Ha ha!