Ice tea, especially when served cold, is a refreshing drink during the summer season. It doesn’t matter which form you consume it in- it serves its purpose in every drink. You can pour it in a glass full of iced water or modify it to enjoy a sweet and fruit-flavored iced tea. Any kind of tea, especially iced tea offers you hydration and might even play a vital role in preventing cancer, as some studies suggest. Believe it or not, iced tea also serves as a source of manganese that maintains your body’s strength and metabolism.
You can easily prepare iced tea in your kitchen. There are several ways you can enhance the taste of your iced tea, some of which we’ll discuss here.
The Best Type of Tea For Iced Tea
Have you ever wondered where the conventional taste of iced tea comes from? Well, it actually draws upon from black tea. Although it is the most chosen type of tea, you don’t necessarily ought to prepare it for iced tea. In fact, almost every tea bag that is manufactured to cater for iced tea is orange pekoe tea. Orange pekoe tea isn’t a particular kind of black tea. Instead, it serves as a grading tool for the quality of tea leaves.
When brewing iced tea, you can opt for any tea. Some common black tea options include Assam, Nilgiri, Darjeeling, and Ceylon. You can even go for Oolong iced tea or Earl Grey Iced tea. Apart from these options, if you’re looking for iced tea with bright tastes that fit the summer mood, you can definitely enjoy herbal and fruity tea blends.
In addition to the type of the tea, it is also vital to consider the quality of the tea. The inexpensive tea bags generally consist of fanning and dust leftover once tea processing is complete. These are responsible for the taste of your tea. If you want iced tea that tastes better, bags of tea leaves that offer superior quality or loose-leaf tea are strongly recommended.
Special Tea Bags For Iced Tea
Iced tea is undoubtedly a very popular drink worldwide. Making the best out of this popularity, some market producers provide unique blends that are relatively convenient to make and consume. Consider the well-known brand Lipton for instance. It offers Southern Sweet tea as one of its tea types with a sweetened taste.
Moreover, the Cold Brew tea offered by Lipton offers the taste and aroma of freshly plucked tea leaves to its well-known black tea blend. These unique tea bags offer iced tea in just a few minutes of preparation, thereby eliminating the need to perform any elaborate traditional methods.
3 Ways To Brew Iced Tea
There are a few options available for you to choose from to brew iced tea. It is advised that you brew your iced tea stronger than hot tea because when served cold, the taste will relax, and it is also perfect for adding sweeteners and mixing in other drinks.
Hot Brew and Chill Iced Tea
The hot brewing method is a well-known method that yields a bold version of iced tea, requires a couple of minutes to brew, and can be relished within an hour. Now the trick in this method is to just brew a tea base that is relatively strong along with a tiny amount of hot water. Then allow it to cool down a bit; finally, you simply need to dilute it with cold water as per your taste.
However, if you cool down the tea extremely fast, for instance, by pouring hot tea over ice, your tea will turn cloudy and give a bitter and dry taste due to more astringent tannins.
Sun tea is another well-known iced tea and is the only way some people choose to have brewed iced tea. The preparation of sun tea follows a procedure identical to that of cold brew iced tea. The only difference, however, is that the jar is subjected to the heat and light of the rays emitted by the Sun.
However, if you use this method, your tea won’t get hotter than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, if you brew tea below 195 degrees Fahrenheit without refrigeration, it can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria.
If you opt for sun-brewed tea, make sure you brew the tea for a maximum duration of four hours in a thoroughly cleaned vessel. Brew the exact quantity of tea you’ll drink in a day and make it a point to refrigerate it.
Cold Brew Iced Tea
Also popularly called refrigerator tea, cold brew iced tea is a hands-off and easy brewing method. However, it is relatively time-consuming. Concerning taste, you’ll find that cold brew iced tea tastes softer than hot brew iced tea. This happens because heat emits an increased proportion of natural tannins present in the tea. For someone who is not a fan of the tea’s mouth-drying effect and is patient enough to wait for a cup of iced tea, cold brew iced tea is your calling.
- Take a pitcher or a big-size jar that has an airtight lid. For every cup of water, put one tea bag or two tablespoons of tea leaves, preferably loose ones, in the infuser. If you want a bolder flavor, simply double the number of tea bags or the number of tea leaves.
- For the infusion process, position the jar or pitcher inside the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. The longer the duration of the infusion process, the stronger its flavor will be.
- Once the infusion is complete, remove the tea leaves or tea bag, and your drink is ready to be consumed.
How To Brew Iced Black Tea And Herbal Tea
Brewing iced black tea and herbal tea is a piece of cake. All you need to do is opt for a tea that you like. Boil water to approximately 185 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use 4 ounces of boiling water for your drink. Simply pour it into the vessel. Then submerge a tea bag or one teaspoon of loose tea leaves in hot water. Keep it in the water for about 3 minutes. Once the time’s up, remove the tea bag or leaves and discard them.
How To Store Brewed Iced Tea
Irrespective of the brewing method that you opt for, there’s always a likelihood of bacterial growth. You can take the following precautions to prevent such an occurrence.
- You ought to discard your iced tea if it smells weird or if it gives a thick appearance. These are the indicators of bacteria; therefore, it is not advisable to consume tea.
- Make sure you store your tea in airtight vessels. You can go for pitchers and large jars that have lids. Additionally, this will prevent your tea from taking up the smell or odor of the neighboring food items.
- As the name suggests, Iced tea must be chilled every time you use it. Don’t keep it at room temperature because it’ll lose its flavor.
- Although it may seem like a feasible option for you to prepare large quantities of ice tea and refrigerate it for future consumption, try to brew fresh batches of iced tea close to when you want to enjoy the drink.
- If you use garnishes, sweeteners, and fruits in your iced tea, make sure you add it only to those drinks that are to be consumed in utmost one day. This is because all these components reduce the useful life of your drink and provoke the growth of bacteria.
Iced tea is known for the many benefits it offers. Not only does it provide you with minerals that you didn’t even know you needed, but it also acts as a stress buster. Therefore, it is evident that iced tea is not just a refreshing drink. Iced tea offers you hydration and even boosts your antioxidants.
The list of its benefits doesn’t end here. Several studies suggest that iced tea is likely to improve the health of your teeth, thereby preventing tooth loss. The bare minimum that it does is it does not damage the enamel of your teeth, which other beverages generally do. Something even more interesting is ice tea’s impact on your heart. Research suggests that the relation between the consumption of iced tea and the health of your heart is positive.
There are several ways you can brew your iced tea. You can go for the traditional method of brewing your tea and then pour in ice to cool it, or you can even choose to make sun tea. Whether you opt for cold brew iced tea or sun tea or hot brew and chilled ice tea, you need to make sure you either make the exact amount you wish to consume or store it in an airtight jar for future consumption to prevent its susceptibility to bacteria.