Right now is the perfect time to sit back and sip on an ice cold glass of refreshing tea. The best way to enjoy a fresh glass of tea is with bulk, loose leaf teas. The reason for this comes down to a higher quality tea. Loose leaf teas contain a fuller flavor and subtleties that may not be found in store bought bagged tea. Enjoy hot or cold. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Black tea is best known for it's strong tannic flavor and deep color. This tea is most commonly associated with iced tea. Some great tasting black teas include assam, darjeeling, and ceylon. Black teas may include 2% to 4% caffeine content and are a great source of antioxidants.
Green tea was first consumed in China 4,000 years ago. Green tea was praised in ancient Chinese culture for it's many health benefits and still today holds the reputation for being healthy. Some common varieties of Green Tea include China Green, Gunpowder and Jasmine. Flavor profiles can vary from subtle to robust depending on the variety.
Herbal teas are made with herbs and spices from various plants. There are many varieties and blends, each with their own unique flavor. Some of our favorites include Indian Spice, Lemon Ginger, Relaxing Herbal, and Rooibos.
Brewing and Storing Tea
The rule of thumb for brewing tea is for every teaspoon of tea use 1 cup of water. Water temperature will vary depending on the kind of tea being used and the quality. In general, a higher quality tea will require cooler temperatures (142 to 156 °F) and shorter steeping times (30 seconds); whereas lower quality teas will need to steep at higher temperatures (178 to 189 °F) and for longer (3-5 minutes). Store teas in a large, air tight container away from light and any exposure to moisture. Keep a small amount of tea in a separate, smaller container for more regular use as exposure to light, air, and moisture compromises the leaves.
How to Make the Perfect Iced Tea at Home
Start with fresh, cool water straight out of tap or water filter. Never use water that has been previously heated, is luke warm, or is not freshly poured. Bring water to a boil. Once water is boiling, measure out one half cup. You may take the temperature of the water and either use immediately or let cool according to the type of tea leaves being used. Measure out one tea spoon of loose leaf tea. If using a strainer, pour exactly one half cup of water over one teaspoon tea leaves and let steep for time recommended. If using an infuser, dip into one cup water for time recommended. Be sure not to stuff infuser full, as the tea leaves will expand during the steeping process which will require more room. Once tea has finished steeping, pour liquid into a glass full of ice. Garnish your iced tea with a lemon wedge, a sprig of mint, or drop in a few raspberries. Click here for another great way to make iced tea.
Looking for more information? Click here to go to the Frontier Coop website to learn more about bulk teas and tea sourcing.