Just as hot tea is great for warming chilled bones on a cool day, nothing is more refreshing than iced tea on a hot summer day. Because there are so many different flavors available for black, green and herbal teas, you can choose a different one for every mood. Iced teas are often delicious made with a flavored tea. Or you can flavor your own tea by using juices, spices or herbs that you have on hand. It appears that tea brewed from tea leaves has higher antioxidant value than tea made from powdered or instant tea. In case you are wondering, many of the bottled teas available are made from brewed tea.
Traditional Iced Tea
Brew tea by pouring boiling water over tea leaves or tea bags. Using tea leaves of course is the most authentic way of making tea for a rich flavor, but many people choose the convenience of tea bags. If you are using tea leaves, use 2 tsp. of tea leaves for about 6 ounces of water when making iced tea. This will make the tea stronger than usual as the ice you use will dilute it. Stir, strain and pour over ice. Hard water will make iced tea cloudy. Soft, but not softened water is best.
Cold Iced Tea Method
This method gives tea a good flavor and will keep for several days without clouding. Combine 4 tsp. loose tea and 1 quart of cold water in a glass jar. Refrigerate overnight. Strain the tea leaves before serving. Pour over ice.
Iced Tea Variations:
Pour hot steeped tea over mint leaves, remove leaves before serving
Pour hot steeped tea over lemon rind, remove rind before serving
Fruity tea: add 1/4 cup each of lemonade and orange juice to about 1 cup of tea
For a spicy flavor: add anise seed or a whole clove with the tea leaves while they are brewing
Serve tea with:
Sprigs of mint
Lemon and lime slices (looks pretty to float lemon and lime slices in a glass pitcher)