Thursday, July 16, 2020

Three Easy Iced Tea Methods

I love iced teas in the summer, they are easy to prepare and super refreshing. I've been having fun experimenting with various chilly tea-brewing methods and posting them to Instagram, and I've had many people ask me about the techniques! Here are three easy ways to have cool, refreshing teas: cold brewed, shaker chilled, and fizzy brewed. 

Cold Brewed Tea

Nothing beats a crisp cup of cold brewed tea on a hot day. It's simple to make, and just requires a little time to brew to your desired strength.

Necessary Equipment: A pitcher or vessel to brew the tea in. I love using something like this for my fridge, as it makes a large amount of tea and has a nice stopper to keep it covered. The glass is also quite strong and sturdy. Optional: loose leaf tea filters like these.

For something a little more elegant, I have a few of these, for smaller batches. They are beautiful and are great for presentation. They also fit the shelf on the fridge door.

Directions: Add about 2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea per cup of water- either directly into a pitcher or into a loose leaf tea filter. Fill up with water and pop into the fridge. Brew at least 8-12 hours, but you can go longer with great results. Strain the leaves as you pour the tea if you left them in the pitcher.

Notes: Many oxidized and roasted teas won't get bitter or over-brewed this way so you can brew as long as you like. White teas also seem to do well with a long brew. Greener teas may become a bit astringent if left too long, so taste every few hours and see what you think. Don't forget to try herbals with this, as they work just as well. You can also use teabags for cold brewing, just add 2 teabags per cup of water.

If you want to sweeten your tea, make a simple syrup mixture instead of using sugar. This will dissolve fully and give you a better tasting sip.  To make simple syrup: combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Gently bring to a boil and stir until dissolved. Cool fully and you can leave in the fridge until you need to sweeten your tea.

Shaker Chilled Tea

I wrote about this flash chilling method a few years ago, and recently noticed that Té Company posted their own version, reminding me give it another try. It's a great way to have a strong cup of iced tea with an amazing texture.

Necessary Equipment: A cocktail shaker (I have this one) or a jar with a good fitting lid, ice, spoon.

Directions: Make a small pot of a double-strength hot brewed tea (if you normally use 1 tsp of tea or 1 teabag per cup of water, make it 2), brew for 10 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature. Fill about 1/3 of a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour in the tea. Shake like crazy! Té Company recommends at least 33 shakes, and I say go for more. The more you shake, the more froth you'll get. When you're done shaking, remove the lid and pour into a glass. Most shakers have a strainer-like top, be sure not to pour through this or you can damage the beautiful froth.

Notes: You can pour over ice, but I enjoy the texture of the foam without the interruption of the ice cubes.

Use a spoon to get all of that foamy goodness out of the shaker!

If you want to sweeten this brew, add some simple syrup to the ingredients in the shaker, before you shake.

Fizzy Brewed Tea

This is my newest obsession! A refreshing, festive drink that doesn't need any added sweeteners. It's as easy to make as a regular cold-brew, and is super festive and refreshing. Plus, if you're a fan of those fizzy flavored seltzers, these are a great alternative without any questionable added 'natural flavor'. I think I first came across the idea for this method from In Pursuit Of Tea's Instagram post.

Necessary Equipment: A small bottle of sparking water or seltzer. Or prepare a bottle of carbonated water if you have a SodaStream. I prefer smaller bubbles, so I use sparkling water. But go with what you like best.

Directions: Uncap a small bottle of  bubbly water and add about 1 tsp of tea per 1 cup of water. You can err on the side of less tea here, and see how you like it. It's easy to add more next time, instead of having a brew that is too strong. Put the cap back on, and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Have a taste, and see if it's ready. Not yet? Try another hour or two. Simply pour through a strainer into your glass and enjoy.

Notes: Herbal teas work great for this preparation, as do teas with floral and fruity flavors.

The tea seems to infuse much quicker in carbonated water than in still water. This is helpful since you don't want to go 8+ hours of brew time and risk loosing fizz.

If you don't want to steep directly into your fizzy water, you can make a standard cold-brew and add a few splashes of fizzy to your cup for some bubbly goodness.

I used 'Limonata Rosa' from Tielka Tea for my fizzy tea in the photo above, and the beautiful color makes it look like pink champagne! It's sweet, fruity, and beautifully floral. Such a festive sip!