Thursday, June 2, 2011

Of course June is National Iced Tea Month

We've been having a particularly hot week in NYC and it's very appropriate that June is National Iced Tea Month. Even in warmer weather I prefer hot tea to cold, but there are times when I'm just super thirsty and I want to drink my tea quickly. I'm visualizing a very hot day when we've just finished working in our little garden. Icy cold tea is perfect for that occasion.

Iced Tea is also a great replacement for soda drinkers. You can lightly sweeten it up, add fresh mint, fruit juice, extracts, etc. But I like my tea plain and simple. Straight up black tea, nice and strong (the only exception of course is bubble tea!).

We boil a big ol' pot of water, add about 6 teabags, and let it steep for a long time. Sometimes we'll forget about it for an hour or two, and it's still perfect. I don't usually add much ice (if any) because I don't like to dilute the flavor at all. This reminds me of the cold HK tea I had recently. My husband likes lots of ice, and our bold brew holds up well. We've been storing our iced tea in bottles I've used for Kombucha, as they are the perfect size for the fridge. We don't really have room for a huge container.

If sweet tea is your thing, I'd suggest using simple syrup instead of sugar. Sugar does not fully dissolve in cold water, making your iced tea unsweetened at first, and then unbearably sweet at the bottom. Simple syrup is easy to make, and you can just pop it in the fridge to keep on hand all summer long. It's just one part sugar to one part water. So you can use a cup of sugar, and a cup of water, put both ingredients in a pan, bring to a boil, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool, and you have a perfect sweetener for iced tea.

Feel free to leave your iced tea favorites in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. i also recommend Agave syrup for sweetening iced tea. a little goes a looooooooooong way! though i prefer my iced tea unsweetened as well.

    also, i am a big fan of iced tisanes. celestial seasonings True Blueberry is my current favorite. more refreshing than gulping down water, and not as sweet and caloric as drinking juice all day on a hot day!