It is important not to skip the brewing process when making iced tea. Using this most common way of brewing tea increases teas maximum antioxidants. Refrigerator brewed tea may keep the antioxidants confined.
Because this is freshly brewed tea with no preservatives, you should drink your tea within 72 hours of preparing it. After this, the healthy benefits will begin to fade.
When preparing black iced tea, Ceylon and China black teas are preferred as they will not cloud when they are iced. Cloudy tea will not affect the taste, only its appearance in the cup.
All tea types, Black, Oolong, Green and white can be used to prepare iced tea. Many herbal tisanes are also excellent iced.
There are several ways to prepare a delicious, antioxidant rich pitcher of iced tea. Using purified, filtered or spring water will allow you to taste the full flavor of the tea. By following the steps below, you will produce an antioxidant-loaded iced tea with ample flavor and fragrance. And, if you are trying to cut down on caffeine, the cold brew method (or refrigerator method) is the perfect choice because cold water does not extract caffeine from the loose tea leaves.
Tea Pot Brewing
- To prepare a pot of strong hot tea, use the measurements suggested according to the directions on the tea package, for the size of your pot. Then add an additional teaspoon of loose tea or one additional tea bag for a strong flavor.
- Steep the tea for the number of minutes suggested on the package.
- Pour the hot tea over ice. This will help prevent clouding of the tea. If the final liquid is cloudy, try adding a few teaspoons of boiling water. The ice will dilute the tea, providing the optimum flavor for your iced tea.
Brew a Tea Concentrate Using Loose Tea Leaves
- To make 1 quart of iced tea, follow these directions. (Using a Pyrex 4-cup glass measuring cup to prepare the concentrate is helpful, but any container that can handle the temperature of the water will work fine.)
- Prepare the water to the appropriate temperature for the type of tea you are using.
- Black tea and Tisanes (herbals): full boil (approx. 212oF)
- Oolong tea: just under a boil (approx. 190oF-203oF)
- Green and White teas: 160oF and 180oF
- Add 3 teaspoons of your preferred loose tea to a disposable tea bag
- Pour 1 cup of the prepared water over the tea bag.
- Let it steep for 12-15 minutes.
- Add three cups ice cold water. (Or add 2 cups cold water and 1 cup ice.)
- Squeeze the teabag and remove from container.
- Sip slowly and enjoy!
Cold Brew (refrigerator method)
- Place your loose-leaf tea leaves in a container
- Pour in cold water and let steep in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove the container from the refrigerator, stir up the infusion to distribute the flavor
- Strain the tea leaves and enjoy!
- Garnish your tea with a lemon, lime, or orange wedge, or a mint leaf.
- Sugar can be added to sweeten the tea.
- Use a cinnamon stick, together with an orange and lemon slice for a spicy kick!
Iced Tea Pops
These are an uplifting treat for both children and adults!
- Prepare your iced tea using one of the methods suggested above.
- Pour the tea into your ice pop mold. (Fresh fruit can also be added here.)
- Insert a stick into each pop.
- Freeze until solid.
- You can also use this method to prepare tea flavored ice cubes. Fruit flavored teas work nicely. The ice cubes add a delicious burst to a glass of water or fruit drink.