In the summer, at our house, there were always two pitchers of iced tea in our refrigerator. One of them, my mother referred to as ” Your Father’s Tea” (meaning sweet tea–southern style) and the other was, regular plain iced tea, no sugar. These were the two choices available. My mother made the iced tea from tea bags, although our neighbors used that very modern, “Instant Tea”. ( You can taste the difference).
Growing up in the ’60′s, I started making sun tea in the summertime, and have continued the practice. Now, however, warnings about bacteria that can grow in sun tea may cause me to consider it a “Steep Risk” http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/suntea.asp.
If any of us got sick from sun tea, I didn’t know it. I probably blamed some other “germ” or even
decided that a small child must have shared his illness.
The popularity and availability of a wide variety of flavored black and green teas has greatly increased my iced tea choices. (See list below for teas that are excellent iced). Magnificent Mango, quite popular in our tea room, competed with Arctic Raspberry and Shanghai Lime (photo) as favorites for iced teas. My iced tea choices are not limited to tea bags, instant tea, sweetened or unsweetened. …..I can celebrate incredible abundance !
Oregon Street Tea Company‘s Great Iced Tea Recipe:
For 2 quarts (1/2 gallon)
* In a 6 cup teapot, place an infuser filled with 12 teaspoons of tea.
* Fill the teapot with water heated to 195 degrees.
* Brew 5 minutes.
* In a 2 quart container fill 1/2 with ice.
* Pour tea over ice.
* Add cold water if needed to make 1/2 gallon of great iced tea !
The following teas are delicious iced:
Black Flavored Teas:
Cranberry Breeze or Cranberry Orange
Wild Cherry Blast
Green Flavored tea:
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Very Popular “Arnold Palmer” http://www.arnoldpalmertee.com/news.asp
Fill a glass with ice and add:
1/2 black tea (brewed)
1/2 Lemon slice to decorate the rim of the glass
Very Refreshing !
Hawaiian Iced Tea
Make 2 quarts of Oregon Street Tea Company’s Great Iced Tea
1 can (16 oz) pineapple juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)
Refrigerate until chilled.
Garnish with fresh pineapple spears and serve
Simple Syrup: ( You can also purchase this)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Cool.
Happy Iced Infusions !
June is National Iced Tea Month. I have often wondered why July or August were not designated as the National Iced Tea Month. June’s weather is often mild compared to July and August when temperatures rise and we are sweating profusely and seeking ice cold refreshments!
Staying hydrated in hot weather is important. Finding healthy beverages, besides water, that contain few additives and don’t have a high sugar content, can be challenging. Iced tea meets this criteria!
Some of our flavored black and green teas make excellent iced teas; Cranberry Breeze, Arctic Raspberry, Shanghai Lime, Strawberry Cream Green. ( All them are so yummy!)
Most of us have made “Sun-Tea” without any issues, however, according to the Center For Disease Control, using the sun to make tea can promote bacteria growth. There are a few guidelines on the following website if you insist on making Sun-Tea. http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/suntea.asp
Our Perfect Iced Tea recipe below uses boiled water which is a safer alternative to Sun-Tea. Brew and enjoy the summer months with the second most consumed beverage in the world…tea!
Perfect Iced Tea
For 2 quarts (1/2 gallon)
In a 6 cup teapot, place an infuser filled with 12 heaping teaspoons of tea.
Fill the teapot with water heated to 195 degrees.
Steep for 5 minutes.
Remove the infuser.
In a 2 quart container fill 1/2 with ice
Pour tea over ice
Add cold water if needed to make 1/2 gallon of great iced tea !!
Happy Iced Infusions,
This is a subject I have avoided. Most long time tea drinkers have their favorite brewing methods and it would be presumptuous of me to instruct them on the “How To’s” of steeping tea! And I guarantee there are probably as many techniques for the “perfect cup” of tea as there are tea drinkers!
However, if you are new to the world of “loose” tea…tea that doesn’t come in a bag with a little string and tag attached…then perhaps a few helpful hints will insure your success.
***Use loose tea*** Usually loose tea is better quality than tea in a tea bag. Broken leaves or leaf “dust” is what goes into tea bags.
***Add tea to teapot***Using an infuser or tea filter measure about one teaspoon per cup into the teapot. If you have a 4 cup teapot, you would add 4 teaspoons of tea. I usually add a little extra because I like a full bodied tea. You will have to experiment and decide how you like your tea. In some tea circles the loose leaves are deposited directly into the teapot and a strainer is used when pouring the tea into a cup. I prefer the filter or infuser method…much easier to clean and the tea doesn’t become bitter.
***Water and Time*** Heat the water to boiling for black tea & steep between 3-5 minutes.
Cool water slightly for Oolong tea and steep between 2-5 minutes. Oolong can be steeped again using the same leaves.
Cool water to about 180 degrees for green tea. Steep between 2-4 minutes.
If you are using a white tea you only need the temperature of the water to reach about 165 degrees and steep it between 3-7 minutes.
If you use water that is too hot for green or white tea, it will become bitter.
Milk, lemon, or sugar can be added if you desire. Milk is not generally added to green, Oolong or herbal teas.
Store unused tea leaves in an airtight container.
And now you have one method of making a perfect proper cup of tea! Make a pot of your favorite tea and enjoy!