Iced Green Tea is our favorite refreshing drink for summer. We feel much better after drinking it than we do with other “refreshing” drinks because we avoid their loads of added sugar and chemicals. With our iced green teas, you get great flavor and quench your thirst without the toxic additives or guilt about sugar. Here are our favorite tips and tricks to make easy, delicious iced green tea perfect for this summer!
Cold Brew Iced Green Tea
1. Combine tea and room temperature water, following the proportions on the package. Gyokuro and Fukamushi Sencha use 1 heaping tsp. tea leaves per 8 oz of water. You can use either a disposable tea bag or strainer.
Tip #1: If you use a tea bag, ensure there is enough room for leaves to float loosely in the bag. (Using 1 heaping tsp. per tea bag works great.) If you use a strainer, pick a strainer large enough so you don’t have to pack the leaves in.
2. Cover the container and refrigerate until it reaches the desired strength. Depending on the tea and water, the time will vary. I would recommend tasting after half an hour and going from there.
Tip #2: For the best flavor, be generous when you measure tea leaves. Go for a BIG heap! And steep with minimum amount of time, starting with 30 minutes. The longer the steeping time gets, the flavor becomes muddy and tart. (“Richer tea” and “stronger tea” are different.) If the tea you made is “too rich,” you can add more ice and/or water. “Too strong” is just not tasty, so don’t steep too long.
3. Remove the tea bags or strainer.
Tip #3: Do not squeeze the tea leaves! I know it’s tempting, but squeezing will make the iced tea more tart and add “zatsumi [zaht’s-me] (impure, or muddy)” to the tea. It is best if you let it drip until there is no more liquid left for clean and full flavor.
4. Serve over ice, if you wish, and enjoy! If you add sweetener, I recommend simple syrup for the best flavor (I usually enjoy it straight, but some sweetness also makes a great treat now and then…).
Tip #4: The benefit of using cold brew is you extract more Umami and less Caffeine.
Hot Brew Iced Green Tea
Blended Teas, Hojicha [ho-jee-cha], Genmaicha [g-en-my-cha], and Kukicha [koo-kee-cha] are best HOT BREWED then cooled down.
Our personal favorite blended tea is Fukamushi Sencha Lemongrass. I’m a sucker for all things lemon-flavored. This blend isn’t overpowering at all and is very pretty to look at as well. And iced Kukicha Lavender is exceptional, especially when it’s paired with cheesecake.
1. Use double the amount of tea leaves specified in package instruction.
Tip #1: For example, use 4 heaping teaspoonful leaves and 2 cups of hot water to make 4 cups of tea (you will add ice later to “shock” the tea). In the above pictures, we put the loose leaves directly in the heatproof brewing container, a Pyrex® measuring cup. If you are using tea bags or strainer, make sure they are big enough so leaves have enough room to float in water.
2. Let tea steep for the time specified in package instructions.
3. In the meantime, prepare a pitcher with ice. To figure out how much ice to use, amount of water+amount of ice= total cups. So if you used 2 cups of water like we did to make 4 cups in the picture, you would use 2 cups of ice.
4. Remove the tea bags or strainers if you use them and dump the brewed warm tea over ice in a pitcher. If you put leaves directly in a container, use a fine mesh sieve, and strain over the ice in a pitcher as shown in the above pictures.
Tip#2: As we mentioned above in “Cold Brew” method, make sure you don’t squeeze tea leaves as that will make the iced tea more tart and the flavor becomes “impure”! Let it drip to the last drop–the last drops are the dew concentrated in flavor.
Tip #3: Cooling down the brewed tea by “shocking” with lots of ice, and it prevents the tea from becoming bitter. And it increases the clarity of color and tastes cleaner.
5. Cover the container and refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice, if you wish, and enjoy!
Iced Powdered Green Teas
These are super easy to make and great for “on-the-go”. We love just throwing the powder into a water bottle and shaking it up! Please note: the tea powder is 100% natural leaf, and it doesn’t dissolve in water, although it’s finely ground. The powder “suspends” in water, rather than “dissolves.” Make sure you shake it occasionally to bring the suspension back and get the full flavor.
1. Combine tea powder and cold water, following proportions on package.
Tip #1: You may want to use slightly more powder than normally you use to make a warm cup of tea, as cold temperature suppresses the flavor. Taste is better if water is not “super cold!”
2. Stir or shake well until fully combined. Think Martini!
Tip #2: A shaker or a bottle works great to mix powder with water, especially when water is chilled. Just add powder to a chilled water bottle or a shaker with chilled water, and shake it up! Please make sure the bottle/shaker is not completely filled up with water so water and powder gets shaken up freely.
Tip #3: If you are making it in a glass, add some ice cubes and stir. The ice cubes act like an agitator when you stir the tea.
We hope these tips and tricks will help you the next time you make iced tea! They are great to share, or just for yourself.
Have any tricks? I’d love to hear them–Email us today!