Foodie Friday: Herbal Is The New Black (Tea, That Is)

In winter, nothing soothes a sore throat or warms up the chills like a cup of fragrant herbal tea. Even friends who don't like black tea say they enjoy the more fruity, herbal teas.

But did you know herbal teas over ice are equally refreshing in summer? The natural sweetness of a fruity herbal tea can even win over a dedicated soda drinker (maybe even your kids).

Whether it's black, green, white, or herbal tea, here are six steps to making the perfect cup of iced tea:

Step 1 -- For one cup of iced tea, place one teabag, or a rounded teaspoon of herbal tea leaves into a mug. To make a pitcher of tea, use a heat-proof measuring cup and one teabag or teaspoon per cup.

Step 2 -- Fill a tea kettle with cold water and heat to just under a rolling boil. Pour the water over the tea (about 6 ounces of water for every teabag/teaspoon of leaves.

Step 3 -- Let it steep two to three minutes if you’re using loose leaves, one to seven minutes if you’re using tea bags.  To decide whether it’s steeped long enough, dip in a spoon, blow on the spoon to cool the tea down and then taste it. With a delicate tea, such as jasmine, one minute is plenty. With a bolder tea, such as mint or a chai, several minutes will give you the full flavor.

Step 4 -- When the tea is steeped to your taste, take the bags out or pour the tea through a strainer to take the leaves out. This is key. If tea steeps too long it will often turn bitter.

Step 5 -- Here’s the key part: let the tea sit out and cool down. If you plan to drink your iced tea sweetened with sugar or honey which are difficult to stir into cold drinks, now is the time to add that.

Step 6 -- When it’s reached room temperature, put some ice cubes in a tall glass, pour the tea over and enjoy. The room temperature tea (before it’s poured over ice) will also keep a day or two, covered in the refrigerator.

For more great summer recipe, browse our boards on Pinterest.


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