Updated: 06/11/2012 4:18 PM
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Did you know that June is National Iced Tea Month? Chris James, owner of Artful Brew Tea, shows us how to make this refreshing drink at home this summer.
Iced tea was created in 1904 by an Englishman who was trying to get St. Louis fair-goers to taste his brewed hot tea. It was so hot in St. Louis that summer that no one wanted to try the hot beverage; so desperate to sell tea, he dumped a bunch of ice into the brew – it was an instant hit!!!
Advantages of cold brewing: It reduces the amount of caffeine released by the tea leaves and it reduces the chances of bitterness. The biggest advantage is that your tea should be crystal clear!!
- Fill a pitcher with 4 cups of cold water, preferably bottled or filtered.
- Add 6 tea bags or 6 teaspoons of loose tea and cover.
- Refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight.
Remove bags or strain loose tea leaves and serve over ice.
Advantages of hot brewing: Brewing with boiling water releases more polyphenols (antioxidants). You also get a much richer, more intense tea flavor.
- Bring 6 cups of water (preferably bottled or filtered) to a boil.
- Place 6 tea bags or 6 teaspoons of loose tea in a teapot.
- Pour boiling water directly over tea. Steep 4-5 minutes for black tea; 2-3 for green; 3-5 for white; 8-15 for herbal.
- Remove tea bags or strain loose tea leaves.
- If serving immediately, pour over ice. If chilling first, let come to room temperature before placing in refrigerator. Placing hot tea in the refrigerator can cause the tea to become cloudy. This doesn’t affect the taste, but the tea won’t look as appetizing. If your tea does get cloudy, simply stir in a bit of boiling water to clear it up!
GARDEN HERBAL ICED TEA
In a saucepan, combine a handful of fresh lemon verbena, lemon thyme and tarragon sprigs, with about 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil; cover and remove from heat. Let steep for about 45 minutes. Strain and stir in 2-3 tablespoons (or more to taste) of honey or simple syrup. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate or serve over ice with plenty of fresh lemon slices. No caffeine!!!
BERRY GINGER SPRITZER
- 6 Berry-flavored black tea bags (or 6 teaspoons of loose)
- 2 c. boiling water
- 2 c. ice
- ¼ c. ginger simple syrup, or more to taste (see recipe below)
- ½ c. fresh blackberries (you can also use raspberries or blueberries, or any combination)
- 4 c. ginger ale
Place tea bags or loose tea in a saucepan and add boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes.
Remove tea bags (or strain out loose tea leaves) and add ginger simple syrup, stirring to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature and pour into pitcher filled with ice. Gently stir in berries; add ginger ale and lightly mix. Serve immediately over additional ice.
To make simple syrup: In a saucepan, place 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water; bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add several slices of peeled fresh ginger. Let boil for several minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove ginger. Simple syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. You can make simple syrup plain (just water and sugar) or add in any fresh herb, any spice, fruit, etc., to change the flavor profile.
This is an herbal tea from the South African bush, Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss), which is full of antioxidants.
8 tsp. Rooibos
1 tsp. whole green cardamom pods
2 whole cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. whole coriander
1 tsp. whole cloves
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into about 4 slices
1/2 of an orange sliced, including peel (about 3-4 slices)
1 tsp. bee pollen (optional)
For a hot brew, place all in a teapot and pour boiling water over. Let steep 8-15 minutes. Or you make this as a cold brew by placing all in a pitcher and putting in refrigerator overnight. Add honey to taste if desired. Note: the hot brew will make a more intense, spicy brew.) This is refreshing and delicious!