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Monday, June 15, 2009

Iced Tea--A Cool Respite

Did you know that June is National Iced Tea Month? I don't know who decides these things, but they must have been to Dallas in June when the temperatures go from cool to hot overnight! Summer has arrived in North Texas! The temps are in the high 90's and I am looking for ways to keep cool. That got me to thinking about cool drinks and, in particular, iced tea.

One of my favorite respites on hot summer afternoons is to pour myself a tall glass of iced tea and head for the front porch swing. There is generally a breeze blowing and I love to relax there with a good book. Often, a friend or 2 will stop by, so I always try to have a pitcher of tea made and a few goodies on hand for an impropmtu gathering.

Below, you will find directions for making iced tea. My hope is that you will find time in your busy day to head to your own porch or gazebo and enjoy a glass with a friend!

Iced Tea
There are a number of ways to make the perfect iced tea. When making iced tea, you may use your favorite black, green or flavored teas or tisanes (herbal teas). However, Ceylon and Keemun do not go cloudy when left to stand. Iced tea can be made using both loose leaf tea and teabags.

How to make Iced Tea using loose leaf tea
Make a pot of tea using loose leaf tea, adding 1-2 teaspoons more than usual. Infuse to the desired strength, strain into a pitcher and add sugar or sweetener to taste. Set aside to cool or refrigerate.

Overnight version. . .
In a tall pitcher, add 2 teaspoons of loose leaf tea per cup. Fill the pitcher with cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight. Sweeten as desired.

How to make Iced Tea using tea bags
When making iced tea using tea bags, the tea doesn't go cloudy and it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Make a pot of tea using tea bags, adding an extra tea bag. Leave to infuse to the desired strength and then pour into a tall pitcher and set aside to cool. Add sugar or sweetener to taste.

Overnight version . . .
In a tall pitcher, add 1 tea bag per cup. Fill the pitcher with cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight. Sweeten as desired.

To serve your Iced Tea
Fill tall glasses with ice cubes or crushed ice then add the strained, chilled tea. Garnish with lemon or orange slices, kiwi fruit, fresh strawberries, or sprigs of mint leaves.

Tea Ice Cubes
Tea Ice Cubes are great to accompany your iced teas. They keep your tea from getting diluted. Simply add your favorite freshly brewed and cooled tea to ice cube trays and freeze until ready to serve. For extra flavor and a festive look you can add one or more of the following add-ins before freezing.

Ice Cube Add-ins: extra sugar, lemon twists, lemon juice, fresh mint leaves, sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or even rose petals.

I'm headed to the kitchen to make a pitcher of Passion Peach Iced Tea. See you on the porch later!

1 comment:

Duchess of Tea said...

The swing is so lovely. You have a beautiful blog and I am so happy to have found you.