Summer has arrived on Whidbey! It is just a gorgeous day and looks like we are in for a string of beautiful days. So that means it is time for iced tea! When the weather is warm we try to keep two or three teas in the shop frig ready to pour. Today’s offerings are “Basic Black” (our rich Iced Tea Blend), Passion Berry and White Calypso. At this moment I am enjoying a lovely glass of White Calypso. It’s light, refreshing, but definitely tropical and perfect for this warm, sunny day. I’m thinking it might be very nice with a slice of fresh orange or pineapple in it.
I was asked a few moments ago what our most popular teas for iced tea are. So I did a quick check and so far this summer the results are:
1. “Basic Black” (Iced Tea Blend)
3. Passion Berry
4. Mango Rooibos
5. Apricot Decaf.
6. Provence Rooibos
Those last three are particularly nice because they are caffeine free. If you drink a lot of iced tea like my family, you don’t need all that caffeine. Tea is so much better for us than soda!
To make iced tea, we recommend using about six heaping teaspoons per quart. This makes close to a double strength infusion. Use a large teapot or large pitcher. Place tea in teapot, fill with nearly boiling water, steep as usual. Strain off into serving pitcher. Fill with cool water and refrigerate until cold. Sweeten to taste.
If you want to corral those tea leaves use a very large infuser ball or the disposable Tea-Sacs. We prepack our Tea-Sacs, about 3 heaping teaspoons, per No. 2 sized bag. Just fold the top down, staple shut and keep in a jar until needed. They are so convenient! Throw two in a pitcher, fill 1/3 full with hot water, steep 4 to 6 minutes, remove the sacs, fill up with cool water and chill. Easy!
By-the-way, iced tea made with high quality tea leaves frequently will cloud when it is chilled. This is due to the teas naturally high flavonoid/polyphenol levels and is perfectly safe.