Y ‘ALL, summer is on full blast! Yes, I said y’all, my southern roots are surfacing because it’s so hot right now it was the first thing that came to mind! Going outside is COMPLETELY overrated. Is it possible to skip the heat? Don’t mind me, I’ll just be inside with a stack of books coping by means of my recent addiction: iced tea. I’ve been making some EVERYDAY mutilple times a day this week.
In our last installment of the Summer Tea Series, we talked about cold brewing tea; cold water, tea, and time. Easy peasy! But, when it’s this HOT with the heat index making it feel like 99F, you MUST have iced tea. I mentioned my preference for cold brewing, steeping tea leaves in cold water in the refrigerator for several hours, often over night. My determination to be patient to avoid pouring hot tea over ice has been tested and frankly, I’ve abandoned that patience with the desire to cool off now.
There’s a simple way to ensure your iced tea is as refreshing and FLAVORFUL as ever since watered down tea is acceptable.
First: Prepare your water according to tea type.
The Steep: Double the amount of tea used for a stronger brew. Don’t over steep.
As the ice melts cooling the tea, your tea won’t loose it’s identiTEA or flavor. For example, if you’re making 1 cup of tea use an extra scoop or 2 of loose leaf tea and steep accordingly.
The Tea: Black Mango – from The Tao of Tea purchased at TjMaxx
In the summer, I often enjoy a fruit flavored tea. After having a Mango strawberry iced tea at Olive Garden for lunch, I had to come home and brew this large mug of tea.
I used 4 teaspoons of black tea, steeped for 5 minutes, and sweetened with some agave nectar. Afterwards, I poured the tea over ice and strained out the melted ice. I sampled the tea (so good) and poured it over ice in this large glass mug. A favorite.
Read. Tea. Repeat.
Although I preferred cold brewing, I’ve come to the conclusion, making iced tea and cold brewing are necessiTEAs for coping with and enduring summer.
A few more iced options in addition to a stronger steep include (1) chill the brewed tea in the fridge over night, or (2) make ice cubes using the tea you’d like iced, that way, as the ice gradually melts, it will be the SAME flavor as the tea your enjoying. How tea-rrific is that?
With all of the iced tea I’ve made this week, my husband, a southern like myself reports, “This is not bad, it’s not sweet enough.” The tea has been lightly sweetened with agave nectar and is just right. But if like me, you have a sweet tea lover in your house, use more agave or create a simple syrup (if the teas already gotten cold) to appease and create happy iced tea drinkers in your home as I have. My tea bar is open for business, well not for profit business, but for the business of satisfying those that steep it real with me. 😉
How are you beating the heat and staying cool this summer?