June heat has arrived just in time for National Iced Tea Month. In celebration of National Iced Tea Month there will be plenty of new Iced Tea recipes and Iced Tea health benefits but before we get started on those lets make sure we have our technique down for brewing a perfect iced tea. Read CNN's eatocracy, Tips for Making the Perfect Pitcher of Iced Tea at Home by David De Candia below.
1. Use filtered water "While the type and cut of tea leaves is essential for ensuring a quality brew, many people don’t realize that the water is arguably equally important. Think of it like a canvas for a painting or the fabric for a dress. The type and temperature of water you use will greatly affect the flavor of your tea, just like the quality of silk will impact the way a piece of clothing hangs. It is important to always use filtered water - never distilled - when making iced tea, as well as filtered water in your ice.
Temperature also makes a discernible difference. It’s ideal to use water that is just under boiling, around 190-195 degrees Fahrenheit. Although boiling water may remove some of the chemical flavors of tap water, it also removes many of its important elements and nutrients. I also recommend heating the water on the stove, not in the microwave, to ensure the temperature is consistent and even throughout."
2. Keep it consistent "It is important to use a proportional amount of water and tea when preparing your beverage. A good standard to follow is one level teaspoon of loose leaf tea to every eight ounces of cold filtered water. If you are using a tea bag, one bag is proportional to 16 ounces of liquid. To ensure these proportions aren’t thrown off kilter when pouring the final product over ice, I like to use ice cubes made from the tea or with juice for a subtle tea infusion. This helps keep the tea from getting diluted.
The rule of consistency also applies to temperature. Let the tea sit for 45 minutes at room temperature before chilling it, as abrupt changes can alter the delicate flavors."
3. The tea isn’t always greener"Just because a tea has a higher price tag, doesn’t mean it will make the best iced tea. Stick with the basics and you’ll be pleased. High-end, specialty and delicate teas are meant to be consumed hot, which allows you to savor the special aspects and flavors of the tea leaves."
4. Just say no to sun brewsIn addition to these tea brewing tips we here at t-sleeve® know that brewing a perfect iced tea includes the use of a t-sleeve®. These handy t-sleeves keep your stings out of the hot water and they provide a pocket to squeeze and dispose of your leftover tea bag without a drippy mess.
"Although sun-brewed iced tea may sound like the perfect summer treat, it is not the best way to get the full flavor of the tea leaves. The sun does not allow enough heat for full infusion. While the end product may look dark, it actually has very little flavor and will require sugar and lemon to brighten and sharpen whatever flavor is there.
Properly brewed teas will have a clear, consistent color, lots of flavor and won’t need any add-ins. It should also be noted that sun brewing can also attract a lot of unnecessary bacteria in your beverage."