How to Make the Best Iced Tea this Summer
Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer! It seems like we waited forever for Winter to make its way off stage, but now, as we make our way through the long sultry days and steamy nights, we’re happy to have a dripping, clinking, glass of iced tea. With that in mind, here’s some tips and tricks from your friends at the Organic Positively Tea Company.
Q: Which Black Teas Are Best for Iced Tea?
A: All of them!
The classic iced tea you get at most restaurants or make at home is most likely black tea - typically Assam or a blend of Assam and Nilgiri teas. If you’re looking for that particular nostalgic flavor, Positively Tea has Organic Assam TGFOP Black Tea and Organic Nilgiri FBOP Black Tea. Both of these make amazing iced tea all by themselves, but we’ve found that a blend of two parts Assam to one part Nilgiri creates an outstandingly smooth and delicious blend. Whether you enjoy it with lemon, sweetened, or straight out of the fridge, this blend will transport you to a lazy mid-summer day.
Looking to spice up your tea a little? Try some of these to make your Positively Tea extra special!
- The Zest of one Orange, Lemon, or Lime
- A Handful of Blackberries
- A Cinnamon Stick or two
- A quarter cup of Sliced Ginger Root
- A few Whole Cloves
- 3-4 Mint Sprigs
Bring on the Fruit Tea!
Fruit teas have gained in popularity so if you’re looking for a little more variety in your summer beverages, our black tea fruit blends, such as Ginger Orange Peach, Passion Fruit, >Mango Tango, and Juicy Peach lend themselves particularly well to making the thirst-quenching brews you’ll be craving as the temperature soars! Bring a fresh batch to your next BBQ and it’s guaranteed to be the hit of the party! Use either the Hot Brew or the Cold Brew method below and sweeten with sugar, honey, or Stevia if desired.
Time to Thai One On!
Thai Iced Tea (or cha yen) is a big favorite of ours and is a delicious change of pace when the heat rolls in. Start with Positively Tea’s Organic Ceylon Black Tea or Organic Golden Monkey Black Tea and use the Hot Brew method as described below. Make a strong batch so that the flavor of your tea soars through the other flavors. At the same time you add the loose tea, add two cinnamon sticks, two star anise pods, four green cardamom pods, two teaspoons of almond extract, and one half of a vanilla bean split lengthwise. Steep for five to ten minutes and strain. Stir in half a cup of sugar and one cup of sweetened condensed milk, then chill. When you’re ready to serve, pour over ice and drizzle with coconut milk or whole milk.
There’s a Whole Latte Tea to Love!
A close cousin to Thai Iced Tea is the Iced Chai Latte. For this, you’ll need to start with either our Organic Masala Chai or our Mango Chai Black Tea. You could start with any of Positively Tea’s black teas, but our Chai blends take some of the work out of finding and measuring the spices! Using either the hot or cold brew method, make a strong batch of tea and let it cool. Mix two parts tea to one part milk - whole or almond (or any other type that you like) - and sweeten with sugar or honey. Serve over ice for a wonderfully spicy treat. If you want to turn it into a Dirty Chai Latte, add a shot of espresso. We recommend Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Drago Espresso Blend.
If iced tea lattes are your thing, you’ll want to try these as well: Organic Butterscotch Tea, Organic Hazelnut Tea, Organic Pumpkin Spice Black Tea, or Organic Choco Coco Joy Black Tea They’re so good, you may not want to drink them hot anymore!
Y’all Want Some Sweet Tea?
If you like your tea sweet but don’t like to add calories, be sure to check out our Organic Stevia Leaf Herbal Tea. Add Stevia to your mix when brewing your tea or use it on it’s own to make a calorie-free "simple syrup" and add some sweetness to any beverage.
We’re going to work our way through our tea catalog starting right now, so come along with us! If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you can check out Positively Tea’s entire collection of black teas. And if you’re STILL not satisfied, then stay tuned for more recipes from our gigantic selection of black, green, white, oolong, and rooibos teas!
We Got Brewers, Too (Not the Milwaukee Kind)
Need a new brewer to try out these recipes? You’re in luck! Check out the Hario® Ka-Ku Cold Brew Tea Bottle. They’re lightweight and shatter resistant with a built-in internal filter system for your tea. And they’re designed to sit upright or on their side without spilling. We’ve also got the Toddy® Cold Brew System which, while marketed for making cold brew coffee, works exceptionally well for tea. We’ve even got the Toddy® Commercial Model which makes two and a half gallons of cold brew coffee or tea, so save that one for when you’re really thirsty.
As with all things, use your best judgment
and adjust to your taste.
And always Be Positive!
Black Tea Brewing Methods
- For every 8 cups* of water, measure out 6-8 tablespoons of loose tea.
- Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat.
- Add the loose tea, and steep for 4 minutes (more or less depending on how strong you like your tea).
- Strain using a fine mesh strainer.
- If adding sweetener, do so while the tea is still hot so it incorporates completely.
- Let your tea cool, transfer to a pitcher, and refrigerate.
- For every 8 cups* of water, measure out 10-12 tablespoons of loose tea.
- Combine water and loose tea in a container.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 16 hours and as many as 36 hours until it’s as strong as you’d like.
- Strain your tea and enjoy!
- If you like to sweeten your tea but it’s already chilled, we’ve found that a bit of simple syrup works better than plain sugar.
* One US cup = 8 fluid ounces. 8 US cups = 2 quarts or one-half gallon. If you’re using the metric system, 8 US cups is just a little shy of 2 liters. A tablespoon is about 60 ml (by volume) or 2 grams (by weight).