The weather is still warm, at least where I am, and there’s no better time than to up your iced tea game. I’ll be talking about how I prepare iced tea (and iced tisanes), and then how you can amplify the flavour by adding some simple ingredients to make it even better than it was before.
For me, iced tea/tisanes start quite simply. I scoop the dry leaf into the infuser portion of my pitcher (I use the Perfect Pitcher from DavidsTea) and I use basically about one-and-a-half times more dry leaf for iced tea than I would if I was making it as a hot tea. So if you normally use 1 teaspoon of dry leaf for a cup, use 1 and ½ teaspoon. It’s not an exact measurement, but it does make it a little bit stronger flavour wise before you start adding ice or other ingredients to it.
When making the tea base, this is the best time to add the sweetener. If you are cold steeping (or cold brewing), you can’t use regular sugar. Sugar will not dissolve in cold water – but other sweetener options do. Agave syrup and honey both do pretty well when dissolved into cold water. If you’re using heated water, sugar will dissolve. Basically, you’ll need to turn your sugar into a simple syrup at minimum if you want to use it in cold water.
Basic Simple Syrup: Heat equal parts granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan until it’s fully dissolved and simmers. You don’t want your simple syrup to boil or burn.
I tend to put a bit of ice into each cup, and fill it with the iced tea/tisane until it’s about ⅔ full. There’s a lot of things that you can top your iced tea with. You’ll need your favourite matcha (blended or traditional; I opted for a straight/traditional matcha), a lemon (or lemon juice from a bottle), and some sparkling water or pop (soda).
And here are the beautiful drinks – and each of them just add a little something to the glass of iced tea and really changing the flavour profile by making it a little bit more interesting.
First we’ve got iced tea with lemonade. I’ve used lemonade before in drinks such as the Arnold Palmer and Matcha Lemonade. In the middle, I added a ‘shot’ of matcha into my iced tea – a matcha shot is a small amount of matcha whisked up. It really adds that vibrant matcha flavour that I enjoy, and in turn the iced tea adds a nice level of sweetness to the matcha. At the end, I’ve got a lovely layered drink! This iced tea was topped off with unsweetened sparkling water. You can also do this with soda water or seltzer, but if it has sugar, it may not layer as nicely.
Fun Fact! The more sweet a liquid is, the more it’ll sink. So when trying to layer a drink, put the sweetest liquid in the glass first to help maintain some well-defined layers.
Have you tried any of these methods of upping your iced tea game before? Let me know in the comments below or tag me (@onemoresteep) in your iced tea photos on Instagram.