The perfect glass of Iced Tea is possible, and easy, too! Here are our Gr8 tips and tricks for achieving the most refreshing iced tea.
Tea is a simple beverage to make and serve, but it is like the quiet kid in the corner of the room, much more complex and interesting than first glance would have you believe.
Tea is the perfect drink to serve anytime of year at any function, whether hot or iced.
The surprising news is, in addition to being a refreshing libation, it seems that tea provides many health benefits!
According to U Penn, "Numerous studies have shown that a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease."
Another benefit, most of the weight loss programs I've followed in the past allow you to drink as much tea as you like. Since it is a zero calorie and no fat beverage it is unlimited, as long as no sweetener or dairy is added.
The verdict is in, tea is a Gr8 choice whether you prefer it hot or iced. The Brits cringe at the idea of putting ice in their revered beverage, yet in the south, iced sweet tea is the go to beverage throughout the year, whatever the weather.
With all the benefits, and the availability of tea almost anywhere you go, drink up!
How to Make Perfect Iced Tea
There is all sorts of information on-line about how to make perfect iced tea. While it is not rocket science, here are some important tips that will maximize your efforts in making a glass or pitcher.
First the temperature of the water, this depends on the type of tea you're brewing:
Green Tea - Pour the water over the tea before it comes to a boil. The water should be between 150º F and 180º F. In the absence of using a thermometer, you should see tiny bubbles either on the bottom of the pot or rising to the top. Some of the newer electric kettles have temperature controls which make it easy to get the water just right.
Black Tea (English Breakfast, Lipton, Tetley, etc.) - The water should be just below boiling or boiling, which is 212º F. I always bring my water to a full boil, as taught by my mother and my British friend. For my taste, this makes the best tea.
Secondly, the brand you choose and whether you use loose tea or tea bags will affect the flavor of the final beverage.
In this house we use Lipton, mainly because it seems to please everyone...and it is easy. (And remember, I like easy!)
We do have a selection of herbal teas in the pantry, which are not from the same plant as black and green teas and may not carry the same benefits.
You can choose the cold brew method, but I prefer the hot brew method because I feel like the strength of the final product can be more easily controlled.
Make it an Arnold Palmer!
If you enjoy the combo of lemon and tea, then you'll love an Arnold Palmer. A thirst quenching mocktail of equal parts of tea and lemonade over ice.
And to take it to the next level, make your own lemonade, our recipe is a breeze!
Iced Tea (Hot Brew Method for Black Tea)
- 6-8 tea bags or 3-4 Tablespoons loose tea; black tea.
- 2 quarts of water, 8 cups
- Bring the water to a full boil.
- Remove from heat and immediately place your tea bags or loose tea into the pan of water (if you tie the tea bags together, it will be easier to remove them).
- Let the tea steep for 8-12 minutes (depending on the strength you prefer).
- Remove the tea bags or ball from the water. If you've put loose tea into the water, then pour it through a strainer into another pan.
- Let tea cool before pouring into glass or ceramic pitcher. (The hot beverage can break the pitcher, believe me, I've broken two pitchers this way!)
- If you like your tea pre-sweetened, add sugar while the beverage is warm so it can dissolve fully, about ¾ cup for this amount of tea, or to your taste.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator.
- If you like to let your guests sweeten their own tea, make a small pitcher of Simple Syrup instead of serving plain sugar. The syrup will dissolve more easily in the cold tea and it is much more charming to serve this way!
- Serve lemon wedges instead of slices, they are easier to squeeze into the tea.
- Offer a pitcher of homemade lemonade alongside the iced tea for a delicious Arnold Palmer!
- Better yet, make some lemonade ice cubes; your beverage won't get watered down and the sweetening and lemon is all-in-one!
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