With National Iced Tea Day just around the corner (June 10th) and summer in full swing, it’s definitely the season for iced tea.
Iced tea is very refreshing on a hot summer day. And, if you make it yourself, it can be low- to no-calorie and sugar-free, but still bursting with antioxidants, flavor, and metabolism-boosting compounds. (Beware if you opt for store-bought iced tea: many are heavily sweetened, stabilized with preservatives ruining the flavor of the tea, and/or deficient in antioxidants because of the time in transit.)
Even with the DIY approach, searching online will turn up countless recipes that transform otherwise healthful iced tea into a fruity sugar bomb, no healthier or lower calorie than juice or lemonade.
But it is absolutely possible to make tasty iced tea without sugar, juice, or fancy add-ins.
The three main methods to make iced tea are:
1. Steep it like hot tea, then cool it down
2. Make a cold brew
3. Set the tea in the windowsill for sun tea
Let’s dive into the iced tea options, and which work best for our teas.
Ice Hot Tea
With this approach, you have a couple different options depending how urgently you want to drink your iced tea. For iced hot tea now, you can steep your tea in a tiny bit of hot water, then pour it over ice. Alternatively, steep your tea in hot water for a few minutes, then place in the fridge until you’re ready to drink.
This is the best method for BeLight Tea due to the hardiness of the tea and herbs, the properties of which are best extracted in hot water. For each bag of BeLight Tea, steep in 3-4 oz boiling water for ~5 minutes, then pour over ice to enjoy cold. This will also work for BeBalanced.
Brew it Cold
This could be called the lazy way to make great iced tea, though it does take a bit more time. The other advantage to this method is you can do it in plastic, such as a water or juice pitcher, and make a lot at a time. For this one, you’ll want a bit more tea/tea bags per ounce of water then you’d normally use to make hot tea. For example, 1 tea bag to 8 oz in hot steeping, you’ll need 2 tea bags for about 12-14 oz cold water. Pour filtered cold or room temperature water over your tea, set in the fridge and let steep overnight (or 2 nights). This brings out different flavors, and oftentimes more complexities in tea than with a hot brew.
The delicate nature of the white tea and mint in BeBalanced allow for a full flavor cold brew. To try out this method with BeBalanced, place 2 tea bags in a container that can hold at least 12 oz water. Add purified water and let steep in the fridge overnight. Enjoy minty, refreshing iced tea the next morning.
Leave it in the Sun
A timeless favorite is to make sun tea, by adding tea and room temperature water to a mason jar and placing it in the window for a few hours to a few days (depending on the intensity of the sunlight). Some people argue this isn’t the safest option because of the opportunity to collect germs and bacteria, but if you’re confident in this method, go for it. Afterwards, stick it in the fridge to enjoy it cold.
Some of our earliest customers loved this method for preparing BeLight as iced tea. You can use approximately the same ratio of tea to water as you would for hot tea.
If you’re wondering about BeEnergized Matcha, you have infinite choices because matcha is a powder, so it doesn’t need to be steeped. Since you consume the whole powdered tea leaf, you’re getting all the goodness regardless of how you prepare it. That’s why Matcha works perfectly shaken in cold water, blended into smoothies and juices, and sprinkled into overnight oats and chia seed pudding.
You can test each iced tea prep method with our two different blended teas and you’ll find each method brings out different subtleties in taste, color, and experience. Now it’s time to enjoy a refreshing iced tea on a hot summer’s day!
Leave a comment below: Which is your favorite method of making refreshing iced tea?