How should you handle your tea-making during the blistering heat of summer? And what types of tea will put the biggest smile on your face?
At the peak of summer, our cravings are unique. We delight in sweet, fruity flavors and cold, refreshing beverages to help us beat the heat. When navigating Heavenly Tea Leaves' vast selection, you might be left scratching your head, wondering what will quench your seasonal thirst the best. Fear no more!
Let's start with the basics: how to cold brew tea.
While most teas can be consumed hot or cold, certain varieties will have a stronger impact on ice. Avoid spicy or smoky ones for this method; you're better off enjoying these more exotic blends hot.
To cold brew your tea, add 1 tsp. of tea to every 6-8 ounces of water in your favorite iced tea maker or pitcher. Let it brew for at least four hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Discard or strain the tea leaves. Keep the pitcher refrigerated, and if desired, you can add ice in when serving.
For those of you who like your iced tea with a fuller flavor, we have an option for you too! Brew your tea as you normally would (with hot water) and refrigerate it until its cold enough for you! Add iced if you like it really cold!
Now that we have the method down, we can talk flavor. Just like our clothing in these torrid months, it's important to keep our tea flavors light. Our Açai Berry White blend is the ideal blend of fruitiness (thanks to notes of mango and berries) with a floral touch (hibiscus!). White teas are a good choice because of their milder, more delicate balance. Another white tea that customers frequently tell us is a favorite for iced tea is Ginger Peach White - a mild, sweet blend of white tea with a peachy punch and a kick of ginger.
Green teas are also a great choice, as they are versatile in terms of temperature and have quite a range – some are nuttier, some are leafier.
For our staff picks, head over to our Iced Tea section. You'll notice many herbal tisanes in this section. That is because herbs, spices, fruits, flowers, and botanicals make for delicious, refreshing, naturally-caffeine free iced teas.
What about add-ins?
Like a scoop of ice cream missing its sprinkles, sometimes our teas (especially when they're iced) call for some fun add-in ingredients.
To complement a citrus or berry tea, chop up some fresh mint; this will cut the sweet notes with the herb's cooling effect.
On the other hand, a simpler black or green tea might benefit from some diced fruits. Try in-season peaches, juicy oranges, sugary melon, or tangy berries to liven up a cold-brewed pitcher. Besides adding flavor, this technique also adds volume to the beverage without diluting the flavor – a key for entertaining thirsty guests.
We've come up with an Iced Tea Lemonade recipe that's very delicious. It's super refreshing too. Oh, and did we forget to mention its delicious?
Step 1: Add 1 tsp. of Green or Black tea to 6-8 oz. of boiling water
Step 2: For Green Tea, boil your water to 170 degrees and steep your tea for 1-3 minutes. For Black Tea, boil your water to 208 degrees and steep your tea for 2-4 minutes.
Step 3: Squeeze in 1-2 lemons for every 6-8 ounces of water.
Step 4: Add sweetener (we prefer organic raw honey) to your hot water
Step 5: Stir
Step 6: Refrigerate until the tea is cool
Step 7: Add ice and enjoy!
Fun fact: Did you know that drinking hot tea in hot weather can actually help cool you down? This is because the hot tea makes you sweat, and when your sweat evaporates, your skin chills. But fair warning, this won't work in humid weather; your sweat won't evaporate the same way!
Happy summer – drink on!