I have a well-known and documented weakness for all things homemade iced teas. They’re good on all sorts of occasions, refreshing during the day, and I even like to serve them to guests as a mocktail. It took me a while, however, to start making iced teas with my MASTER.T tea machine. Always thought of it as “the hot tea machine”, don’t ask me why though? Duh, momlife has made me so sloooow… Seriously, it hurts occasionally.
Suddently though, I started making iced teas with it – like, a looot, really all the time – this spring during lockdown, after a nudge from my friends at SPECIAL.T. And let me just say there is seriously no going back. For one, the process like this (read below for a simple trick) is sooo simple. And the one (for me) big advantage of brewing – hot! – tea in your tea machine to turn it into iced tea: so many flavors to choose from! SPECIAL.T has a whole range of flavors that taste great consumed icy cold. The range recommended for cold consumption is indicated with a snowflake. So, a whole range of teas without the unnecessary “turning bitter” when cool, imagine! Fair to say I did the research and tried THEM ALL. And those dreamy flavor names… Remind me of nail varnish names, hihi. I just loooove them all so much! Peach & Apricot Dream, Intense Mint, Happy Fruity, Lemon Sorbet, Ice Mint, Aquarosa… To name a few. There was a lot of iced tea experimentation happening in our house. Happy hour around the clock! And they’re all perfectly flavorful, light, refreshing, surprising and summery in taste. But my favorite is probably… Uhm… Orange & Strawberry? Yeah.
Why is it my favorite? It’s a fantastic summer drink for the whole family. Yes, even Elma adores it. The floral hibiscus flavors are accompanied perfectly by sweet and tangy fruity notes. With hints of vanilla to complete the taste experience. Subtle, but so good. Also, you’ve gotta be quick if you want to try it. It’s a limited edition!
How do I turn any tea into a homemade iced tea dream, you may ask? Well, to share with you my broad experience (not to boast but rather because sharing is caring) regarding iced teas, I can say that 90% of the success is based on the flavor you choose. It’s like the starting base. From there, you can switch things up and create to your heart’s content. So, I’m sharing with you again (here is also an older, similar post) my “recipe for success” for delicious iced teas. Like a rule of thumb – or what I like to call: “Iced Tea Bingo”.
- Choose your base wisely. Start with a nice tea as a base. Something without any theine works best, as it cools down without turning bitter in the process. Herbal, fruit and floral teas for the win – which means the whole family, including kids, can enjoy it, too. So, definitely a bonus! Or you can use white teas. I have been surprised to learn that their very subtle flavor also chills nicely.
- Use natural sweeteners. A bit of sweetness intensifies the flavor of the tea, so it’s something good, yeah? But of course, a lot of people shy away from processed sugar. Use any kinds of substitutes instead. I have worked with agave syrup, maple, honey or coconut sugar.
- Brew it – then cool it. Ice cubes for the win! I have really just discovered this trick thanks to the SPECIAL.T system – using their special ice cubes mold. And I always like to learn and add to my strategy. There is simply one rule to remember: always brew your tea and let cool a little bit before adding the ice cubes. And, best kept secret: add iced cubes to achieve a cool refreshment within minutes. It’s not rocket science – but you have to think about if first, right? Just make sure to brew the tea extra strong, so that the dilution caused by the cubes does not make the tea loose too much of its beautiful flavor.
- It’s all in the mix. Spice things up with anything from fruits like citrus to berries to all kinds of juices, spices like vanilla or cinnamon, or, come to think of it, even peppercorns. Add fresh herbs or edible flowers like lavender and roses… Really, there are no boundaries! If you can think it, you can brew it up!
- Keep it simple. But really, try to do something simple first. Like, it doesn’t need to be a witches brew (like I love to do it sometimes… I admit it), but it can really be just 3 ingredients. Tea, sweetener, berries. Like the recipe I used here. Check out these recipes, too, for further inspiration.
Recipe for this exact, refreshing…
Strawberry Iced Tea
2 cups freshly brewed Orange & Strawberry SPECIAL.T
4-6 large ice cubes
100 g strawberries, cubed
3 tbsp. agave syrup
Brew two cups of the tea and pour both cups into a carafe. Add the agave syrup and stir. Let cool slightly before adding the ice cubes to the carafe. Add strawberries. Stir and serve ice cold.
This blog post was created in cooperation with SPECIAL.T. Merci!
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