I just found out that you can grow stevia - did you know that? Have you done it? You can put the leaves right in a hot liquid for sweetening so it's perfect for teas without having to do any processing.
Yes, you can dry and then pulverize the leaves to get the white powder like you can buy. That's the only waystevia will sweeten something cold so I plan on doing both. I haven't checked my local nurseries yet, but I read that you buy the seedlings from nurseries as it's very difficult to start from seed.
I think I saw some of the plants at the farmer's market yesterday. I remember seeing something and thinking that I didn't know you could grow those. I didn't do anything but glance at the labels. I'll have to look again when I go back next Saturday.
It's easily grown. I think it's a mint type plant because it grows so quickly and easily. I had a neighbor who used to use it quite a bit. She would dry it and keep it to use ever year and used it regularly.