I was recently asked how I make dependably good cold green tea -- and to keep it simple. Simple is great. There is one secret to my iced green tea… brew it hot, and then refrigerate it!I strive to brew my tea at the proper temperature and the best time to make the tastiest pot of tea possible. Sometimes, there is leftover tea and I hate to waste it, so I pour it in a glass and stick it in the fridge. At other times, I purposefully brew a pot of tea, pour it in a glass bottle and refrigerate it for later. A cup of cold tea is a great treat on the deck on a hot summer day.
There are two things that can turn great hot tea into bad cold tea: the type of tea and ice.
There are some teas that just don’t taste as yummy cold as when they are hot. I have a few and, once the pot goes cold, I reheat it to make it drinkable. Other teas taste just as good hot or cold. Those are the ones I brew and refrigerate.
Ice is also a factor in cold tea quality for two reasons. The first is water quality. Since I go through all the trouble to use the best tasting filtered water to brew my tea, I also use the same filtered water for my cubes, rather than straight from the tap, to keep the quality high. I’ve found that if the ice sits in the freezer for a while, it becomes stale, which negatively affects the flavor. The second factor is that ice will dilute a tea as it melts and make it less tasty if it is not drunk immediately. Unless you continue to stir the tea as the ice melts, there’s going to be a pocket of mostly water at some point, which is always an unpleasant surprise. I usually avoid ice and just pour straight from the fridge to my glass. If I really want to keep my tea cold, and I know in advance what tea I’ll be serving, I might pour some of that same cold tea into my ice cube tray and make cubes from the tea. As they melt, they are just adding more tea into the tea. If you have only regular ice, just use as little as possible.
My favorite iced tea so far this summer has been a mango flavored green tea. The fruit adds a layer of sweetness, which precludes the need for sugar. If I brew a tea that does benefit from a wee bit of sweetener, I always add it into the glass jar as I pour the hot tea. The heat of the tea melts the sugar or honey perfectly and it chills with the sweetness already in it.
June is Iced Tea Month, so celebrate summer with a cold glass of tea. What’s your favorite tea to serve cold?
Laugh with abandon,
Green Tea Lady
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