Hello There, Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
We are happy to have been busy once again preparing for the second Teeny Tea of the summer! But first, I thought I would chat today about something I love very much in summertime: Iced Tea.
For some people like myself who either cannot have much alcohol, or just choose not to drink it, non-alcoholic drinks that are super delicious are always welcome. So, I have a great deal of fun inventing new drinks that I can enjoy while sitting on my porch!
First of all, let me tell you my favorite way to make iced tea. It is a bit different, so if you have a favorite way, please use it. I use glass pitchers (the kind that have a kind of retro look to them), add my tea bags and then pour in hot water from the tap. I don't like to boil water to use because it really is not necessary for it to be that hot, it takes longer to cool, has too much of a chance of over-extracting and getting bitter or cloudy. So, the heat from the hot tap water is just sufficient to extract the tea perfectly and it always remains crystal clear! I sometimes put the pitchers into the sun to finish brewing it and when it is done, I do like to chill it overnight to make the flavor just right. I make one big pitcher of black tea and one smaller pitcher of an herbal or a half-caff mixture, generally every day.
For my newest Teeny Tea, I wanted to create something fun and appropriate to the setting and the theme of the party, so I went about mixing some flavors and colors I liked. I decided I wanted to make a Hummingbird Tea (considering they are our favorite visitors to the porch!), so I decided to improve on a combination I had been making since last year, a strawberry/orange combination, using one Tazo Sultry Strawberry and one Tazo Wild Sweet Orange, in a quart jar of water. I decided it needed a bit more color and flavor, so I added a bit of Pom Wonderful Cherry Pomegranate juice. Perfect! Adds a dark red color and a bit more tangy, fruit flavor! Yummy! And just like hummingbirds, it is sometimes a very dark color, until you see it in the sunlight and then it looks like an even brighter red!
Fruit juices make iced teas even more delicious, so don't be afraid to experiment!
Here are some of my other favorite combinations:
-Iced Peppermint - 2 bags of Stash Peppermint tea in 1 quart of water
-Wild Sweet Chai - 2 Tazo Wild Sweet Orange + 1 Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice (scrumptious with orange juice and a slice of lime added!). For a lighter spice flavor, use 1 Celestial Seasonings Mandarine Orange Spice bag instead.
-Passion Sunrise - 2 bags of Tazo Passion Tea in 1 quart of water, add splash of orange juice when done.
And this is my recipe for classic black iced tea with a bit of a difference:
2 bags of Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey + 1 bag of Tazo Awake in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Refreshing plain or sweetened. Experiment with adding your favorite fruit juice: lime in place of lemon, the Cherry/Pomegranate I used in the Hummingbird Tea, or even some pineapple juice!
I think all of these combinations benefit from just bit of sweetening, so add honey, sugar or agave to taste.
Keep watch for my next post, the next Teeny Tea!!