iced tea scene2In the sweltering summer, iced tea is a must. Drown it in sugar, add a touch of honey, or enjoy it plain. The better the tea though, the better it will taste. Fresh, loose leaf tea that will impart rich and complex flavors.

Using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags isn’t as hard is it may sound. You are simply measuring the tea instead of it being pre-apportioned out. You can follow the same measurements for hot tea as for iced tea. If the directions on your loose leaf tea say to use 1.5 tsp for 1 cup of hot tea, that generally holds true for iced tea- you can then use 1.5 tsp per cup of iced tea.

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Here are three ways to make iced tea with three sample recipes.

RECIPE 1: CLASSIC LEMON BLACK ICED TEA – hot brew & flash chill

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We’re making this classic lemon black iced tea with our Dockside iced tea blend. This is the quickest way to make iced tea. Brew your tea in half the amount of hot water needed at the recommended temperature for 8 minutes; then add 1.5x the amount of ice as water and stir. This method works best if you brew tea hot in a separate container and then pour the hot water into a pitcher with the ice, that way you won’t have to wait for the tea vessel to cool.

Directions (makes one 64-oz pitcher): 1. In a small pot, steep 4 tablespoons of lemon black tea in 4 cups hot water just below boiling (200°F) for 8 minutes. 2. If desired, add sugar or honey while tea is steeping, a scant 1/4 cup for lightly sweet, to 1/2 cup for truly sweet.3. Stir in 4 cups of ice water; pour all contents over strainer into pitcher. Serve over ice with fresh sliced lemons and enjoy.

RECIPE 2: LAVENDER-HIBISCUS ICED TEA – combination steep (heat & chill)

This recipe is made with our delightfully summer-y Farmhouse Lavender herbal blend. This is a great no-fuss option if you want to make some tea to have around and aren’t in a hurry. Adding cold water or ice water helps cool off the tea and prevents it from bringing up the temperature in your fridge. Extending the steep in the fridge deepens and sets the flavors.

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Directions (makes one 64-oz pitcher):1.In a heatsafe pot, steep 4 tablespoons of lavender-hibiscus tea in 4 cups hot water just below boiling (200°F) for 6-10 minutes. 2. Again, you can add in your sweetener at this time if you’d like, from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. stir in 4 cups of cold water. 3. Cover the pot and put it in the fridge for at least four hours. This will allow the tea to chill and the flavors to set.4. Strain into pitcher and serve over ice.

RECIPE 3: JASMINE GREEN ICED TEA – extended cold steep

This recipe is made with our Serenity jasmine green tea blend. If you have the patience for it, it’s definitely worth cold brewing your tea to experience the difference. Cold brewing tea will yield a slightly different flavor profile and a different mouthfeel, in large part because there is no heat to draw out the tannins and astringency; rather the flavors develop slowly and more fully over many hours. This method works especially well for greens and oolongs. It’s easy enough to prep this tea in the evening, let it steep overnight- then drink it all the next day. Because this tea doesn’t start out hot, if you want it sweet you’ll need to use a liquid sweetener for it to dissolve. Depending on the tea, you might use 1.5x to 2x the amount of tea suggested for a hot brew for richer flavor.

Directions (makes one 64-oz pitcher): 1. Add 5-6 tablespoons of jasmine tea and 8 cups room temperature water in a pot with a lid.2. Place in the fridge, covered, for 12 to16 hours. 3. Strain into pitcher and serve. Enjoy over ice or chilled straight up, with agave or simple syrup to taste.

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