Yay for National Iced Tea Day!
We have been writing about iced tea for weeks now, and for good reasons.
- They rock.
- Summer is here.
- We like them so much we now offer our own line of ready-to-drink teas.
- Making your own is easy, and offers way better flavors than ones (other than ours!) that you will find on supermarket shelves.
Today we have another compelling reason to write about one of our favorite topics. It’s National Iced Tea Day! And it’s blazing hot, too — a perfect morning to brew some iced tea on the stove and cool it in the fridge, or to take advantage of Colorado’s potent sun and make sun tea before chilling it.
On this National Iced Tea Day, we turn to fruit teas, matcha and sun tea ideas.
Fruit Punch Iced Tea
Paradise Peach Fruit Tea
Let’s lead off with a Colorado-style fruit tea — peach! While we’re at it, let’s also remember to support our peach farmers this year. A September hard freeze killed many Western Slope peach trees, as well as apples, plums, apricots and cherries. They’ll need to sell every last piece of fruit, and given this year’s relative scarcity of CO fruit they won’t be cheap. But we’ve got to support our fruit farmers!
Paradise Peach caffeine-free fruit tea combines delicate peach flavor with hibiscus, rose hip, apple and orange zest for a taste sensation. Chilled, it’s summer in a cup.
Pink Pomegranate Fruit Tea
Pomegranates symbolize life, fertility, luck and power in many cultures, especially in the Middle East. All of those beautiful ruby-red seeds, each offering pops of bright flavor, helped mythologize the fruit.
This caffeine-free tea, Pink Pomegranate Fruit Tea, brews bright pink, with myriad sweet notes: pomegranate, pineapple, dragon fruit, apple, hibiscus — even yogurt crunch. When it comes to thirst quenchers, this tea is a winner.
Lemon and iced tea stand as a classic combination. Normally, the tea is traditional Camellia sinensis — black tea from India and Sri Lanka, for the most part. This tea turns to Chinese oolong, which is less oxidized and more complex, than most black teas. Along with wonderful oolong and lemon, this custom tea incorporates heather and red cornflower blossoms, which add subtle floral notes. In addition, the heather is good for detoxing, reducing inflammation and supporting joint health. Our Lemon Blossom Oolong also includes apple for sweetness and fruity richness.
Most traditional iced teas revolve around black tea, which we applaud. Fine black teas brew excellent iced tea. Unfortunately, the black tea used most often is terrible — scraps swept up from the floors of tea processing plants in different parts of Asia. It’s normally old, stale and bitter. It’s time to up your iced black tea game!
This custom blend combines Sri Lankan black tea with raspberry, rose hip pieces, cornflowers and huckleberry. Our Rocky Mountain Huckleberry is slightly sweet, a bit tart, and one of our favorites for making cold tea all summer!
Iced Tea Matcha Spectacles of Deliciousness
Brewing matcha and then chilling it leads to a fine beverage. But of all teas, we think it lends itself better than any other to latte-style treatments. When brewed, iced, blended with different milks and jolted with simple syrups, it’s ambrosial. In addition, matcha’s natural emerald iridescence makes for a jaw-droppingly gorgeous beverage.
How to make it? Easy. The key is using good matcha — like ours!
- Whisk one teaspoon of matcha with 2 ounces of hot water, until matcha dissolves.
- Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice cubes
- Pour in choice of milk: dairy, oat, coconut, almond, soy, etc.
- Add a little simple syrup (optional)
- Pour brewed matcha into glass
- Mix and enjoy!
Simple syrup leads to many variations: caramel, hazelnut, chocolate and so on. One of our favorite beverages is a Matcha Mojito, which leverages mint simple syrup. It’s the very essence of refreshing.
Given Colorado’s bountiful sun, we started brewing sun tea many years ago. We love the no-fuss aspect of this brew — you just let whole-leaf tea sit in a glass container left in the sun until it’s brewed.
We find that black teas and rooibos teas work especially well for sun tea. Consider, for example, our Madagascar Vanilla black tea and our Yunnan Black. Both of these teas offer rich, round flavors that quench thirst. Among our rooibos teas, check out our Organic Rooibos Provence, which includes ingredients like elderberry, rose hip, rose petals, blueberry and lavender. Also try our Rooibos Creamsicle, which, you guessed it, contains orange in addition to the rooibos.
Here’s how to make sun tea:
- Place between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per liter of water into a large glass container.
- Add cold water into the container, and cover it with a lid.
- Place it in direct sun, either outside or by a window.
- Steep for up to four hours, making sure the container remains in the sun all along (move it around if it gets shaded).
- Strain the tea into a separate container. If you plan to use sweetener, add it while the tea is still warm.
- Either enjoy it immediately, by pouring over ice. Or store in the refrigerator until cool.
Happy National Iced Tea Day! Make a cold fruit punch. Sip a matcha latte. Let the sun transform those leaves into liquid gold. No matter how you celebrate June 10, we applaud it!