This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.
Several years ago I was planning my first trip to Hawaii when I discovered something rather wonderful. Heading there in late September, I learned that not only were September and October considered to have the best weather of the year (think little rain and perfect waves), but those months also happened to be the low season for tourists! Yippee! When does that ever happen? Best weather + fewest tourists. Hooray indeed. Don’t you just love these types of felicitous occurrences? I certainly do and that is why I want to share with you another felicitous discovery of mine – and just in time for this blazing hot weather.
You’ve all seen countless recipes for iced tea. Generally speaking, two methods pop up time and time again. Boil your water and wait for your tea to cool, or spend hours brewing it in the hot sun. Well, I happen to be a little bit too impatient for either option. So what if I told you brewing iced tea that is ready to drink in the amount of time it takes you to brew a hot cuppa, is not only feasible, but actually tastes much better? Well, I am going to tell you exactly that. Another felicitous occurrence – the absolute quickest and easiest way to brew iced tea also happens to make the very best tasting tea -perfection in a tea glass. Really, it is THAT good. And yet, I have never seen a recipe for this method outside of the very old book I found it in many years ago.
As an iced tea drinker, the bane of teas is the all too often over brewed and bitter variety. I’ve run across this problem often, but with my method you will avoid this every single time. So what is the method I’ve been going on about? It is so simple it isn’t even deserving of being called a recipe. You brew a small amount of tea in the bottom of your pitcher with hot water (not even boiling – just straight from the tap), then fill the rest of the way up with icy cold water and throw in some ice if you’d like (and I promise it won’t be too watered down). Ready to drink in 5 minutes or less. Never bitter so the actual flavor of the tea shines through perfectly. Light and refreshing – it really is perfect every time.
Disclaimer: For those of you sweet tea aficionados, I can’t help you. Despite living in the South for many years I could never quite stomach sweet tea. I prefer my tea refreshing rather than cloying – sorry sweet tea lovers!
Easiest Iced Tea
2-3 bags of your favorite tea or one tea ball of loose tea (my favorite for iced is Harney & Sons Black Currant http://www.harney.com/ht-black-currant.html – you can also get clever here and mix several different flavors.)
Place tea in the bottom of your pitcher and cover with no more than 2 to 3 inches of hottest tap water. Let brew as you would for hot tea – following instructions on your tea box. Give a good stir then fill up your pitcher with cold water. Pour in a glass with a few ice cubes.
And there you have it – perfect iced tea in a matter of minutes.