Damn it’s getting hot! I don’t know where you are while you read this but if you are in the northern half of this ball we call earth you are probably getting ready for summer. As the world tilts and the sun returns to spend more time shining on this half, the temperature rises and I want more cold beverages. Which brings me to Iced Tea.
At Art of Tea we offer several teas that we custom blend to serve iced. What makes them different from the teas we offer to be enjoyed hot? Many of the iced teas we offer have the same names and ingredients as our hot teas but they are made differently. With a tea that will be served iced we need to increase the delicious and natural additives to make sure the flavor comes across. Think of it like a white wine. Coming right out of your refrigerator a chardonnay has only so much flavor that you can notice. Let that wine warm up to cellar or even room temp and you will detect more of its true character.
Tea is the same, so our flavored iced teas have a little more kick added to them so that you can still enjoy all of the subtle nuances that you would find when served hot. It is still tea and we never forget that fact. Whenever we flavor a tea we view it more as a compliment than an additive. We never want to overwhelm the unique character of the leaf.
Back to the iced tea thing since it is summertime. You don’t have to use a tea made for “iced tea” to enjoy a refreshing beverage. It will surprise you how much you might enjoy making an Iced Tea from a tea that you enjoy hot. And you may find that you don’t need to add any sweeteners, citrus, cream, etc. One of my latest favorite iced teas these days is our Earl Grey Crème. A little citrus, touch of vanilla and still definitely a black tea – absolutely great chilled.
HOW TO MAKE AN AWESOME SHAKEN ICED TEA:
Here’s a little trick for you. If you don’t have a martini shaker set, pick one up at any restaurant supply or get our Ice Tea Shaker Kit which is cool because it comes with some great free samples to try out. Brew a pot of your favorite tea, a little on the strong side. Pack the pint glass full of ice. Pour the tea over the ice. Put the stainless steel shaker firmly on top. Hold both halves, put over your shoulder and shake hard. It’s not worth the mess in your kitchen to try any fancy Tom Cruise moves during this step. You will feel it get cold in you hands. Once well chilled set the shaker down so that the stainless steel part is on the counter. Lift the glass off the shaker. This step keeps the tea from running down your hands since the glass is nesting inside the shaker. Pour the tea back into the glass so you can look at it. Most of the ice will have melted. Add fresh ice to a clean glass – you can probably do two servings. Use the strainer to pour your now chilled tea into your glasses of ice. Sit back and enjoy the dog days of summer.