Hey New England, did we just automatically skip Spring entirely and dove right into summer?! Yesterday we stepped outside and went shopping for plants for the house and the sweltering heat instantly put us in a cranky mood. Let’s be real – heat makes me cranky. (I know, we work in a hot kitchen all summer, but that’s different. Outdoor heat and humidity, whenI don’t really expect it in May, makes me a liiiiittle cranky.) So, to ease the mood and cool us down, I decided to open our pantry and cabinets and take all the latest teas we had bought and received in the mail, and take them for a taste test. Below are our current favorites, perfect for the summer heat.
Brewing Teas in Cold Water
Intense Flavors & Cooler Temperatures in Your Kitchen
No one wants to boil water or put a tea kettle on the stovetop when temperatures hit the high 90F and even 100F. No one! So to solve this heat crisis, why not learn how to steep tea in cold water? A simple method of tea brewing that results in great flavors and basically no work at all on your part.
1. Toss a few tea bags in a pitcher of cold water. Or better yet, use the Takeya Iced Tea Pitcher. Depending on how strong you like your iced tea, depends on the amount of tea bags or loose leaf tea you’ll use.
2. Cover the pitcher and place in the fridge overnight, for at least 8-12 hours. This lets the flavors develop slowly and you’ll have a lovely glass of iced tea when you wake up. Strain the tea once you’re ready to drink it. Some people prefer the sun-tea method, where you do the same but place the pitcher in a window ledge with sunlight, using the sun’s heat to slowly steep the tea. Whatever way works for you, go for it.
3. Infusing cold-brewed tea: you can add an extra punch of flavor by adding certain things to your pitcher while infusing the tea. Some great additions include herbs such as rosemary, lavender, mint, and basil. Also, try slicing up some stone fruit once in season, as well as fresh pineapple, citrus fruits, or drop a handful of berries in it. Mix and match for some awesome combinations, one of my favorites being green tea, sliced peaches, and lemon thyme.
Numi Savory Tea in Carrot Curry: with rich and exotic curry, turmeric, and ginger, this is a tea unlike any other I’ve ever sipped. Swirled with sweet carrots, decaf green tea, and zesty cilantro, it’s a delicious beverage to sip mid morning to tide you over until lunch. Or better yet, incorporate it into your lunch as a base for your soups and stocks.
Te Tiempo in Sweet Hibiscus Tea: With it’s ruby red color swirled inside your cup, it’s the perfect tea to pair with citrus fruit and fresh herbs. A mixture of hibiscus blossoms, stevia leaves, blackberry leaves, and licorice create a beverage that not only looks gorgeous but tastes sweet without any artificial add-ins or sweeteners.
Teamotions in Pineapple Blueberry Green Tea: I’ve talked about Teamotions countless times: over on Honest Cooking as a review of their line, as a Passion Fruit Green Tea Granita, and a Spiced Chamomile Milk – all great ways to use the Teamotions line. But when it comes to iced tea, this combination of green rooibos, pineapple, blueberries, goji berries, schizandra berries, tulsi leaf, white chocolate, and corn flowers really is a home run! Seriously, goji berries in green tea?! It’s like healthy on healthy on superfood healthy! Sip this late at night when working past your curfew, it’s decaf but the flavors will perk up your senses.
Les Palais des Thes in The Des Songes: this tea is what I picture the ladies of the court to drink. Made in France, it’s a delicate combination of semi-fermented tea leaves, lavender, mallow flower, and safflower, plus a touch of dried lemon peels. Although a fantastic hot beverage during the evenings, this cool tea pairs well with light dinners such as grilled fish and vegetables. When chilled, drizzle with a touch of raw honey for a luscious sweet touch.
Takeya in Coconut Lime Rooibos: one of the most refreshing iced teas I’ve ever tasted, this Coconut Lime Rooibos by Takeya is a rich blend of coconut, papaya, pineapple, and lime – doesn’t reading that just make you want to jump on a plane to the closest Caribbean island!? The grassy tasting notes linger on your tongue and taste best when paired with fresh fruit, like these Grilled Mango Skewers over on Feed Me Phoebe.
Ajiri Tea in Kenyan Black Tea: coppery in appearance, this Kenyan Black Tea not only is delicious served hot or cold, but it’s such a delicious tea it has won 2011 and 2012 Buyer’s Choice for Best Black Tea and 1st place at the North American Tea Championship in 2011. Another thing we loved about Ajiri Tea was that the box in which it comes is completely handmade and decorated by Kenyan women. Made from dried banana tree bark, water hyacinth, and the twine that holds the bag inside together is made from banana bark decorated with paper beads, made from recycled colored paper that is rolled by the women. Not only a delicious product but one that makes a different in the world!