How To Make A Good Glass Of Iced Tea…and a Ginger Cookie mmmmm

First, as always, start with fresh, spring or filtered water and a fine whole leaf tea.  Tea bags (with tea dust) makes a dull, flat iced tea.  Make it from real leaves, it tastes great.  Ceylon, Assam, or Darjeeling are good choices for preparing a black iced tea.  Green teas and Oolongs are also refreshing when iced.

To make a cup, simply double the amount of tea leaves (usually making it two teaspoons per cup of water), and steep as usual.  To prevent clouding (which happens sometimes when fresh, high quality tea is cooled too quickly), dilute your double-strength brewed tea with cool water instead, and serve over ice only when you’re ready to enjoy it.

If making iced tea for a group of friends, keep your serving pitcher at room temperature, adding ice to your drinking glasses. Refrigeration dulls the flavor, while adding ice to a big pitcher of tea will water it down over the afternoon. Enjoy within 12 hours of brewing. Ahh! Refresh and repeat!

Garnish your iced tea with a slice of lemon or sprig of mint for the perfect glass of cool, refreshing iced tea.

 Mighty Leaf Tea carries a couple nice looking and functional iced tea pitchers where the vessel with the ice in the center does a nice job keeping the tea cold without “over-diluting” as the ice melts into the center tube, not into the tea.

I realize icing one’s tea is a bit of a foreign concept to many “outside” the U.S., however, in hot climates, a fine iced tea is one of the most refreshing beverages.  Approximately 80% of tea consumed in the U.S. is iced, most of that is bottled, syrupy, “not-so-wonderful” tea, but that is changing with the availability of so many pure, leaf teas.
One of my favorite food pairings with iced tea, in particular an iced black tea, is a ginger cookie.  The combination is uplifting, spicy, and invigorating.  I usually recommend making your own from scratch when it comes to cookies; however, there are some spectacular ginger cookies on your fine grocer’s shelves.  Trader Joe’s Markets offers these peppery, crunchy, and remarkably thin ginger cookies you might want to try.
Drink tea!  Enjoy