The warm weather is here but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your Harmony Teas and continue to reap their many health benefits. We have included simple ways to make ice tea and special tips in order to create the best tasting and healthy drinks all summer long. Enjoy!
Five Easy Rules
Before we get to the process of making iced tea, here are five easy rules to follow to create great tasting iced tea using Harmony Teas or any of your favourite tea blend:
- Use enough tea! We recommend you double or triple the amount of tea. The flavours of some tea aren't as strong when served cold, so by doubling the amount of tea used, you can compensate for this loss in taste. Using a higher quality of tea (such as Harmony Tea) will also yield a better tasting tea.
- Steep the proper amount of time! If you over steep the tea by trying to make the flavour stronger, you may release more tannins in the tea which creates a bitter taste. Therefore use more tea and keep the steeping time the same.
- Cool tea before putting in the fridge! If you put your tea in the fridge while it is still hot, the iced tea may become cloudy. If your finished product still goes cloudy, you may try adding a touch of hot water to the tea to clear it up. If the tea does go cloudy, it is still safe to drink. This is referred to as "creaming" and is the result of a precipitate being released by the tea leaves into the water. Higher quality teas have a tendency to cream.
- Fresh ice tea tastes best! Your homemade ice tea will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Add sugar to hot water to dissolve! Sugar doesn't dissolve very well in cold water. See below for other sweetening options to make a healthier tea.
How To Make Ice Tea
Hot Brewing Method
There are two ways to make iced tea using the hot brewing method:
- Make a pot of tea and let it get cold. Sift the liquid into a pitcher and put in the fridge.
- For a quicker option, place double the amount of tea for the size of pitcher you wish to make into a heatproof container. Fill the container halfway with hot water. If using sugar to sweeten, stir it into the hot water to dissolve. Steep the proper amount of time. In another container, fill it with ice and strain the steeped tea into the container with ice until 3/4 full. Top it up with cold water, serve and enjoy!
Cold Brewing Method
This method requires you steep the tea in the fridge. The flavour is slowly released and the tannins don't tend to leach out from the tea leaves, which makes it easier to steep and get a rich lovely taste.
Sweetening Options for Ice Tea
There are many different ways to sweeten your iced tea and some are a healthier option than others. If you choose to use granular sugar, may we suggest organic cane sugar. Other sweetening options include:
Stevia - Best added when brewing your tea. Stevia leaf is nearly 50 times as sweet as ordinary table sugar so VERY LITTLE is needed. One tablespoon of stevia leaf equals approximately 2.5 tablespoons of sugar. Stevia powder is also available and can be stirred into your ice tea after brewing.
Honey - Another great natural sweetener and best to use local honey. Different types of honey will provide different tastes. Honey is also 1.5 times the sweetness of sugar so use sparingly.
Fruit Juices - You could add a natural fruit juice to your ice tea to create a unique flavour. Options such as cranberry juice, lemon or peach juice make great summer choices with additional health benefits.