Chill Out This Summer with Easy Loose Leaf Iced Tea Chill Out This Summer with Easy Loose Leaf Iced Tea

03 Jul , 2013

The heat of summer is in full swing and suddenly we can’t get enough of everything iced, especially tea! Some people tell us they are intimidated by making iced tea at home, especially using loose leaf herbs and teas. There are so many easy ways to ice your tea, there’s no reason to skip it.

Here are the basic guidelines for home brewing iced tea:

  1. Make a really strong brew by using more herbs or tea leaves than you normally would for brewing a cup or pot of hot tea—about 1 tablespoon per cup of water—since you’ll later be diluting the brewed tea with ice.
  2. Steep the brew a little longer than you normally would for a cup or pot of hot tea, about 5 to 10 minutes for black or green tea and up to 15 to 20 minutes for herbal tea.
  3. Pour the strong brew over a lot of ice and serve. Or combine it with an equal amount of cold, filtered water and refrigerate until chilled. With the latter method, you don’t need to use as much ice when you serve the tea.

That’s it! Easy, right?

Keeping those iced tea brewing guidelines in mind, here are some of our favorite iced tea preparation methods.

Tea for One

This seriously could not be easier.

Steep 1 tablespoon of loose leaf tea in 1 to 2 cups of water, then strain into a tall glass filled to the rim with ice. Sip. Repeat.

French Press It

This is the best way to enjoy several glasses of loose leaf iced tea in one sitting or to share it with a couple of friends.

Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of tea to a large French press, top with boiled water and steep. Strain into glasses full of ice, or transfer to a small pitcher and top with an equal amount of cold, filtered water, then refrigerate and serve when well-chilled.

Cold Brew It

Here’s an interesting way to brew if you can plan your iced tea prep ahead of time.

Try a cold steep, where you soak loose leaf tea overnight in cold water in the fridge. Strain the next day, and enjoy! A cold steep releases the flavor of the herbs or tea slowly and you can end up with a slightly mellower tasting brew than if you heat the leaves quickly with boiling water.

Simply steep about 1 tablespoon of tea for every 1 to 2 cups of water. If you’re making a big batch of iced tea using this method, say more than 4 cups, 1 tablespoon of tea to every 2 cups of water is plenty.

Sun It

Let the natural heat of the summer sun brew your tea for you.

This is just like the sun tea your mom used to make . . . only better because we’ll use delicious, high-quality loose leaf tea instead of mediocre grocery store tea bags.

This is somewhere between a cold brew and a boiled brew. It’s a slower infusion so the herbs or tea have more time to interact with the water, releasing their flavor more slowly. So the brew can be more mellow than a boiled brew, since boiled water forces the flavor out of the herbs and tea leaves more rapidly and completely.

To prepare, simply fill a large Mason jar or recycled glass juice jug with 1 tablespoon of tea for every 1 to 2 cups of water. Cover the jar and set it outside in the sun or inside in a super sunny spot by the window and steep for 3 to 6 hours. Strain and serve over ice.

Sweeten It

For those of you who like your iced tea on the sweet side, here are some tips for sweetening.

If you’re using a high quality loose leaf tea to begin with, you probably won’t want to cover up the tea’s flavor with a lot of sugar. But sometimes a little sweetener can help cut a tea’s bitterness or astringency or an herb’s earthiness or tartness just enough to balance out the flavor and make for a smoother sip. Especially in an iced tea application, since you’re making an extra strong brew.

Here are some sweetening tips:

  • Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of sweetener per cup of tea. Start with less, then add more to taste.
  • Always sweeten after steeping, not during.
  • When using granulated sugar, you’ll want to sweeten the tea while it’s still warm so the sugar is easy to dissolve.

Consider the flavor of the sweetener and how it will impact the flavor of tea:

  • White sugar is the most neutral sweetener, but also the most refined.
  • Anything in the unrefined sugar category (raw, brown, turbinado, muscovado, coconut, etc.) will impart darker flavors, like caramel and molasses.
  • Honey can also impart a strong and unique flavor, depending on the type.
  • Agave nectar is similar to honey, but has a much milder flavor profile. It also dissolves a little easier.
  • Simple syrup (typically equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil and then cooled) is a great way to sweeten iced tea because the sugar is already dissolved and you can use less syrup to sweeten your brew.

We hope you’re staying cool this summer with some delicious iced teas. Let us know if you have any additional iced tea brewing tips to share!

Pin this post!

 

The post Chill Out This Summer with Easy Loose Leaf Iced Tea appeared first on Birds & Bees Teas.

The heat of summer is in full swing and suddenly we can’t get enough of everything iced, especially tea! Some people tell us they are intimidated by making iced tea at home, especially using loose leaf herbs and teas. There are so many easy ways to ice your tea, there’s no reason to skip it.

Here are the basic guidelines for home brewing iced tea:

  1. Make a really strong brew by using more herbs or tea leaves than you normally would for brewing a cup or pot of hot tea—about 1 tablespoon per cup of water—since you’ll later be diluting the brewed tea with ice.
  2. Steep the brew a little longer than you normally would for a cup or pot of hot tea, about 5 to 10 minutes for black or green tea and up to 15 to 20 minutes for herbal tea.
  3. Pour the strong brew over a lot of ice and serve. Or combine it with an equal amount of cold, filtered water and refrigerate until chilled. With the latter method, you don’t need to use as much ice when you serve the tea.

That’s it! Easy, right?

Keeping those iced tea brewing guidelines in mind, here are some of our favorite iced tea preparation methods.

Tea for One

This seriously could not be easier.

Steep 1 tablespoon of loose leaf tea in 1 to 2 cups of water, then strain into a tall glass filled to the rim with ice. Sip. Repeat.

French Press It

This is the best way to enjoy several glasses of loose leaf iced tea in one sitting or to share it with a couple of friends.

Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of tea to a large French press, top with boiled water and steep. Strain into glasses full of ice, or transfer to a small pitcher and top with an equal amount of cold, filtered water, then refrigerate and serve when well-chilled.

Cold Brew It

Here’s an interesting way to brew if you can plan your iced tea prep ahead of time.

Try a cold steep, where you soak loose leaf tea overnight in cold water in the fridge. Strain the next day, and enjoy! A cold steep releases the flavor of the herbs or tea slowly and you can end up with a slightly mellower tasting brew than if you heat the leaves quickly with boiling water.

Simply steep about 1 tablespoon of tea for every 1 to 2 cups of water. If you’re making a big batch of iced tea using this method, say more than 4 cups, 1 tablespoon of tea to every 2 cups of water is plenty.

Sun It

Let the natural heat of the summer sun brew your tea for you.

This is just like the sun tea your mom used to make . . . only better because we’ll use delicious, high-quality loose leaf tea instead of mediocre grocery store tea bags.

This is somewhere between a cold brew and a boiled brew. It’s a slower infusion so the herbs or tea have more time to interact with the water, releasing their flavor more slowly. So the brew can be more mellow than a boiled brew, since boiled water forces the flavor out of the herbs and tea leaves more rapidly and completely.

To prepare, simply fill a large Mason jar or recycled glass juice jug with 1 tablespoon of tea for every 1 to 2 cups of water. Cover the jar and set it outside in the sun or inside in a super sunny spot by the window and steep for 3 to 6 hours. Strain and serve over ice.

Sweeten It

For those of you who like your iced tea on the sweet side, here are some tips for sweetening.

If you’re using a high quality loose leaf tea to begin with, you probably won’t want to cover up the tea’s flavor with a lot of sugar. But sometimes a little sweetener can help cut a tea’s bitterness or astringency or an herb’s earthiness or tartness just enough to balance out the flavor and make for a smoother sip. Especially in an iced tea application, since you’re making an extra strong brew.

Here are some sweetening tips:

  • Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of sweetener per cup of tea. Start with less, then add more to taste.
  • Always sweeten after steeping, not during.
  • When using granulated sugar, you’ll want to sweeten the tea while it’s still warm so the sugar is easy to dissolve.

Consider the flavor of the sweetener and how it will impact the flavor of tea:

  • White sugar is the most neutral sweetener, but also the most refined.
  • Anything in the unrefined sugar category (raw, brown, turbinado, muscovado, coconut, etc.) will impart darker flavors, like caramel and molasses.
  • Honey can also impart a strong and unique flavor, depending on the type.
  • Agave nectar is similar to honey, but has a much milder flavor profile. It also dissolves a little easier.
  • Simple syrup (typically equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil and then cooled) is a great way to sweeten iced tea because the sugar is already dissolved and you can use less syrup to sweeten your brew.

We hope you’re staying cool this summer with some delicious iced teas. Let us know if you have any additional iced tea brewing tips to share!

Pin this post!

 

The post Chill Out This Summer with Easy Loose Leaf Iced Tea appeared first on Birds & Bees Teas.