Food

The best summer beverage: perfect cold-brewed iced tea

Canadian Living
Food

The best summer beverage: perfect cold-brewed iced tea

I'm picky about tea. I love it and it's so good for you, but I'm picky. I'm basically a tea diva. Things I DON'T like to happen to my tea:
  • the tea bag is left in for 3 nanoseconds too long
  • the already steeped tea has sat for any length of time
  • the water was too hot
  • the water wasn't hot enough
  • the tea is too sweet
  • too much milk
  • milk is too cold
  • etc. etc. etc.!!!
See? Tea diva. A tea-va, if you will. I basically have to brew it myself, watch it like a hawk, set 18 timers, then drink it scalding hot, right away, before it gets a chance to bitter-ize. Yep, new word. Stick with me, here. All of these crazy aversions become a bit of a problem where iced tea is concerned because it's sort of written into the instructions to over-brew it, then add ice to cool it off. And I'm sorry, but that's just going to be a horrible, bitter disaster. UNLESS! You cold brew it. Yep, cold brewing -- the answer to any tea-va's needs. Cold brewing means lower tannin levels and therefore, less astringency and bitterness. I just cover the tea (loose leaf tea in little DIY tea filters, or just regular tea bags) with cold water in a pitcher and let it stand, covered, for a day. I mostly use the absolutely delicious oolong tea that I got at Silk Road Tea in Victoria, back in January -- but you can use any tea you like. [caption id="attachment_2277" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Silk Road Tea and Spa in Victoria, BC. Utter bliss for a tea-va like me."] Silk Road Tea and Spa in Victoria, BC.[/caption] I use the same proportion of tea to water as I would for a nice strong cup of hot tea -- about 1 heaping teaspoon of tea leaves to 1 cup water. I cold-brew at room temperature, as fridge space is always a premium, both at home and in the Test Kitchen! [caption id="attachment_2276" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Perfectly brewed tea."] Perfectly brewed tea.[/caption] Once the tea has steeped, remove the bags or filters, then sweeten with honey, if desired. You can also add lemon or orange slices, or just plop in some ice and drink it straight up. [caption id="attachment_2278" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Crystal clear, totally un-bitter, delicious straight-up tea!"] Crystal clear, totally un-bitter, delicious straight-up tea![/caption] So come clean... are you a tea-va, too? Please don't let me be the only one.
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The best summer beverage: perfect cold-brewed iced tea

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