Very few things feel good and calm during the summer, like a cold, tasty glass of iced tea. Making iced tea from the loose leaf at home is an incredible thing and will open up a world of creativity. For you to prepare the best drink possible, you have to learn how to make iced tea.
Remember that transitioning from portable, convenient and easy tea bags to nuanced and flavorful loose leaf tea may be a tricky situation even if you are acquainted with the quality difference between the two brands.
But with a simple understanding of how to make iced tea, the transition can be pretty easy. So, read on to learn how you can prepare this drink at the office, home or even while on the go.
Preparing Via the Traditional Hot-Brewed Method
When it comes to preparing this type of tea, there are typically two methods involved: the hot-brewed and cold-brewed methods. Below is how you can prepare via the traditional hot-brewed process:
First Step: Measuring Loose Tea
Begin by measuring the loose tea. Ideally, you have to use one teaspoon of the ingredient for every cup. However, other blends may require you to use more than one tablespoon, while others demand less than a teaspoon. As a general rule, you have to check the guidelines to determine the recommended serving size for every cup.
First, place the tea in a tea brew or infuser to prepare a DIY teabag and then place it in an iced drink pitcher or heat resistant glass. If you are preparing the drink for many people, it is worth noting that one quart needs at least ½ ounce of the loose leaf.
Second Step: Heating Water
When preparing this tea through this method, you have to heat the water to a specific temperature. If possible, you should only use freshwater because using water that has sat in the kettle overnight may affect the tea’s stale or flat taste. Still, you need to avoid boiling the water for a prolonged period. The tea’s taste may be imparted by over boiled water.
Here are the recommended water temperatures:
- Black & Pu-Erh: 212° F
- Green & White: 170-180° F
- Oolong: 195° F
- Herbal: 212° F
Third Step: Infusing the Tea Leaves
Using half the amount of water you could use when preparing standard tea, prepare a double-strength infusion by steeping the loose leaf for a specific period, as shown below.
- Green & White: 2-3 minutes
- Oolong: 4-7 minutes
- Black & Pu-Erh: 3-5 minutes
- Herbal/Fruit/Tisanes: 5-7 minutes
There is something special about the double strength infusion as you will later pour it over the ice. In this case, the drink will not get watered down. Merely put, you have to use ½ cup of hot water for each cup of iced beverage. Remove the infuser or paper filter when the time elapses.
Remember that brewing the beverage for a prolonged period may extract an unwanted bitterness from the loose leaves. So, the steeping time is crucial!
Fourth Step: Sweetening and Chilling the Tea
If you would like to sweeten the tea, just dissolve honey or sugar into the hot brew and wait for it to chill. Pour a double-strength infusion straight into an equivalent amount of ice if you plan to drink the iced drink instantly.
On the other hand, pour the double strength into an equivalent amount of room water temperature if you plan to drink it later. Please leave it at room temperature for roughly 5 to 10 minutes before placing it in a refrigerator. This way, the drink will cool progressively, and in the process, eliminate any possibility of cloud formation that results from chilling the drink quickly.
Regardless, the formation of tea clouds is a normal thing. There are several reasons why this can happen. First, the cloud may indicate a high quality that is filled with necessary solids. Second, it may show that the drink has been cooled rapidly. Whatever the case, the clouds are not entirely that bad.
How to Sweeten this Iced Drink
If using the standard hot-brewed process, the ideal time to sweeten the drink is while it is hot. In this case, the honey or sugar will completely dissolve. However, if you are the type of person who prefers another level of sweetness or is into the eco-friendly cold brew process, the best option is to use simple syrup. Preparing syrup is fairly easy, and it’s perfect for cold drinks as it distributes consistently all over the beverage.
Preparing Via the Cold Brew Method
You will require 1.5 teaspoons of loose leaf, 1 cup of tea, cold water and a sleep time of 12 hours. Below are the steps to follow:
First step: Pour the water and loose leaf into a glass container or pitcher. Remember to use room temperature or cool water.
Second step: Cover the glass container and put it in a fridge for at least twelve hours. Remember that most teas need to be brewed for at least half a day except for the green teas.
Third step: As opposed to using a strainer, consider using a cold brew maker to strain out the leaves.
Fourth step: Pour the drink into a serving cup, either with the ice or without, because it’s already chilled.
The Benefits of Using Loose Leaf When Preparing Iced Tea
There are several reasons you need to use loose leaf when preparing this type of beverage.
It is Tasty – as long as you buy it from a reputable online tea and coffee shop, be ready to enjoy the highest quality possible. Buy high quality loose tea on this site.
Plenty of Variety – When buying teabags, you are restricted to a couple of selections, but that’s not the case regarding the loose leaf.
Affordable – With its qualities and abilities, loose leaf is indeed affordable.