Today is National Iced Tea Day. Iced tea seems to be a southern favorite, but many northerners like it too. A few restaurants are having specials on their teas today, so if you are a tea lover, see if your favorite places are participating. If you want to make some fresh brewed tea of your own, check out these tips below.
Tips for great Iced Tea
Darker Teas will yield a stronger flavor
If you’re a Southerner, chances are you already know you should add a tiny pinch of baking soda to your tea to get the best flavor.
Water Quality Counts- use clean, filtered water and be sure to use quality ice that hasn’t had time to absorb freezer flavors!
If you’re using store brand tea bags, use the string on the tea bag to tie the ends together. This will keep the bag from breaking and leaf pieces from floating around in your tea
Freshly brewed tea is good for you! Did you know that tea is rich in antioxidants (more specifically, flavonoids) and it is most potent when freshly brewed.
For best flavor, store your tea in a GLASS pitcher or Large Mason Jar. Plastics have a tendency to absorb and release flavors and use of a metal container will give off an unpleasant metallic taste.
Avoid Over brewing the Tea- 10-15 minutes is sufficient. Any longer than that and the tea will likely take on a bitter aftertaste.
Add sugar while the tea is still warm to ensure fully dissolved sweetener and avoid graininess.
Did you know that the temperature of the water should be altered depending on the type of tea you’re brewing? Use boiling water (212°F) for darker teas such as black tea, oolong or herbal teas. For green tea, white tea and light oolong teas, use cooler water temps (170°-180°F) for best flavor.
Adding a squeeze of lemon prior to refrigerating the tea will help prolong the life of the natural flavonoids in the tea; The citric acid and vitamin c act as a natural preservative.