There are a few things that come up when you think of the word simple. Simple can relate to a quick and easy go-to meal, your favorite restaurant, or something that you make repeatedly and it comes out great every time. Simple can also mean that something can be a staple, also something that you want to add a new spin on as well. June is National Ice Tea month, and there is really nothing better than drinking a cold glass of brewed ice tea during these hot summer months. Although ice tea can be pretty much error proof, do we really know the essentials of making a glass of ice tea? Here are 3 tips on how to make the perfect glass of ice tea this summer season.
Whether sipped in the morning to start your day, or the must have sign of hospitality in the South, tea has been enjoyed by everyone for several years. Rich in antioxidants, tea is most potent when brewed fresh. When making iced tea you want to use the freshest tea and also the freshest water. Fresh loose tea or large tea bags are ideal, and spring, purified or filtered water is best. Mineral water is not ice tea friendly and sparkling water can be topped off in your glass to add a bubbly finish to your iced tea, but it is not best for the beginning stages of brewing.
Time and Temperatures:
Every tea lover has their own tea that they enjoy drinking. Whether it be herbal notes, a raspberry scented tea, or a rich dark black tea, the brewing time varies for each one. A denser, more compact tea like black teas or herbal teas steep best in boiling water, while green teas, white teas, and lighter oolong teas brew best in cooler water (water that is below the 212 degree boiling point). Brewing tea that requires cooler water in boiling water can result in bitter or astringent tasting tea. If there isn't allotted time for your tea to cool down completely, brew tea at double strength then add ice. The ice cubes in your glass will water down the tea. Steep lighter teas for 2-3 minutes and steep darker tea's for 3-5 minutes, according to taste.
Now that your brewed ice tea is ready, it's time to play with flavors and add in's. Sugar or sweetener isn't the only thing that can make your glass of ice tea perfect. Add in's like spices, flavored simple syrups, fruit, mint leaves, or even another flavored tea are always ways that you can turn a pitcher of plain tea great.