Summer is almost here and we are ready for sunny days full of fun at the beach! And what’s better to accompany our summer adventures other than some amazing homemade iced tea? Delicious and refreshing, iced tea is a treat that is always welcome whether you are looking for a drink to cool down or a substitute for hot tea or coffee. Making your own iced tea will ensure not only greater taste than the bottled ones you buy at the stores but also let you control the calories and -why not- save yourself some money. Also homemade tea is richer in vitamins and flavonoids since it’s fresher! Although the preparation of iced tea is similar to that of hot tea, it requires some different steps which are certainly not hard to follow. In this post www.1001TeaFacts.com will give you 10 tips to prepare the most delicious iced tea ever!
1. Use Quality Tea Leaves
Just like with hot tea you should always make sure you use good quality tea leaves to ensure a flavorful drink. I always recommend tea leaves over tea bags since the teabags only usually contain lower quality tea or just the “dust and fannings” of leaves. Also make sure that the leaves you buy are always fresh since they tend to lose their essential oils and flavor overtime. If you want to learn how to judge tea’s quality you can read this article. If you are a fan of tea bags (I have to admit they are convenient) you should try brands that offer larger size tea bags since they give the leaves the freedom to expand more and that results in a better tasting tea. Lastly, it’s always good to know where your tea comes from so check to see if the country is listed on the package.
2. Double the Amount of Tea Used
When making iced tea make sure you use two times the amount of tea leaves (or tea bags) you would normally use when making hot tea. When tea is iced it needs some extra flavor so adding more leaves will make your tea taste fuller and stronger.
3. Use Clean and Fresh Water
One of the ingredients often overlooked when preparing tea is the main ingredient, water. Tea consists of 99% water and it greatly affects the taste of it. It is essential that you use fresh, filtered water every time you make tea. Don’t use water that has been staying in you kettle too long and make sure you always use cool water instead of hot. Also never use distilled water since it makes tea taste flat. The best way to ensure “soft” and tasty water is definitely to invest in a faucet filter. To read more about the importance of water for tea you can read this article.
4. Don’t Steep for Too Long
Always follow the guidelines for each kind of tea preparation. Black, green, white, herbal teas require different brewing times and water temperature. Steeping your tea for too long or using water that is too hot can result in a bitter, tannic taste that is undesirable. Usually you should use hotter water for black and herbal tea while white, green and lighter oolongs need cooler water.
5. Sweeten When Tea is Hot
It is recommended that you use sweeteners when your tea is still warm because when sugar is added to cold tea is hard to dissolve. If you put sugar in cold tea then the grains will not dissolve properly and as a result your tea will not be sweet. If you prefer sweetening your tea when cold as per every person’s taste, you should use some syrup instead.
6. Let Cool Before Refrigerating
To make iced tea you have to first prepare your tea just like you would with hot tea. Bring your water to a boil, add your tea leaves or tea bags and steep for as long as needed. Then you should preferably let your tea cool down completely before refrigerating or adding ice to it to prevent cloudiness. Everyone likes tea when it look nice and clear!
7. Add Fresh Fruit Slices or Juice
Adding sugar or any sweetener to your tea is great if you like sweet tea but what makes iced tea even more appealing is a pretty garnish! Some fresh berries or fruit slices to your tea, or even some fresh mint leaves will make a tall glass of tea irresistible. They will add some extra flavor and fruitiness to it and also some extra vitamins!
8. Store in a Glass Container
Storing your tea properly is as important as preparing it the right way. Plastic containers are not the best choice especially when they are old because plastics accumulate toxins and also absorb smells. When storing your iced tea in a pitcher like that it is not unusual for your drink to pick up any flavor of other items found in your refrigerator. Also, metallic containers should be avoided too since they can make your tea taste metallic. The best pitcher to use is a glass pitcher or a BPA free plastic pitcher. Another tip is always make sure you seal your pitcher so that it doesn’t pick up smells from food in your fridge.
9. Make sure Tea is Fresh
Making extra tea is always a good idea since you always need a cold glass of it but keep in mind that it should not be kept in your refrigerator for more than 48 hours. When tea is more than a few hours left aside the flavonoids disappear so if you want to benefit the most out of it always drink it when it is fresh. Some doctors recommend adding some fresh lemon juice to your tea to preserve the flavonoids.
Are you trying some homemade iced tea and what is your favorite kind ?
Share with us below.