The bounty from the farmers market is going to make an amazing dinner. The grill is warming up to make your famous grilled veggie pizza, topped with goat cheese, mushrooms, ribbons of zucchini and yellow squash along with fresh basil. You’ve mixed some mint into brightly colored greens, which you’ll top with fresh berries and a chia seed dressing, for a salad on the side. For dessert, you’ll grill a peach each.
Enjoying a cool breeze and the glow of the sun as it starts to lower across the horizon, you think about how summer couldn’t get better than this. Every weekend of summer should feel this special, you think as you reach for…a glass of water.
Water is essential to a healthy body but to be honest it doesn’t feel terribly relaxing or special. In years past you might have reached for a glass of wine but you’ve found healthier ways to deal with stress or treat yourself at the end of the day. However, on a night like tonight you do find yourself a bit wistful as you try to jazz up your water up with a slice of lemon.
You know what I say? Everything is better with tea. For a perfect night on the patio you need an amazing glass of cold brew iced tea.
Before you reach for the Lipton or a jug of sweet tea at the grocery store, remember I said AMAZING. It’s time to learn the secret of cold brewing iced tea.
I used to try to make iced tea by brewing hot tea in my usual way then shaking it with ice in a cocktail shaker. It always came out watery and I usually made a huge mess. I have tried bottled iced teas and they are okay but not SPECIAL. Good for drinking when I am on the go but not for luxuriously sipping with a good book or savoring a delicious meal with my husband on Saturday night.
My wistful wishing for a summer treat had me searching the internet for a solution. I found the answer with the instructions on how to make the perfect cold brew iced tea.
I was skeptical at first because I have cold brewed iced tea once before. It was a huge project. I had to buy a variety of unusual spices like star anise and fruit I don’t normally eat. It seemed like a huge investment with only a “meh” payoff. When I read the articles online I learned it was as simple as finding a loose leaf tea you like, adding double the amount you would usually use per 8 oz. of water and putting in the fridge. (Ideally you would let sit overnight but 4-6 hours works well enough.)
Of course the real secret to perfect cold brew iced tea is the right tea blend. I started (and ended) my search for delicious and refreshing blends with two companies I know and love: Plum Deluxe and Amoda Tea. (I purchased the teas myself and was neither compensated nor asked to review their products. I just love what they do!) Here are the teas I recommend to make a special cold brewed iced tea to enjoy while sipping on the deck or lounging in the hammock this summer.
Plum Deluxe Iced Tea Blends
Plum Deluxe creates their own blends for their monthly tea club as well as to sell in their online shop. Many ingredients are organic and often reflect the company’s hometown of Portland. Their Vista Blend Herbal Tea is made with naturally decaffeinated honeybush tea and ingredients like Oregon lavender and apricots. Honeybush is naturally sweet so this fruitful blend needs no additional sweetener to sip slowly on the deck at night. Their Hammock Blend Black Tea is made from a base of black tea with orange peels and natural crème flavor. Its bold yet smooth flavor would be perfect to cool down after long weekend run or hike. (Disclosure: I am a Plum Deluxe Tea Ambassador and I receive perks for tea purchases via my links.)
Tea Geek’ery Iced Tea Blends from Amoda Tea
Amoda Tea curates teas from all over the world for their monthly subscription box in addition to creating their own wellness teas. The blends I recommend for your cold brew iced tea would be recent additions to their collection from Tea Geek’ery.
Pick Me Up is a unique blend of yerba mate and rooibos teas. The rooibos takes the edge off of yerba mate, which can sometimes be a little bitter. Ginger and vanilla round out the flavors for a perfect tea to sip by the pool. Red Paradise is a fruity almost punch-like blend. It has a tarty kick that can be made even more delightful when you use frozen raspberries or blueberries as ice cube. If you’re having friends over for a cookout that don’t normally drink tea this is the blend you need to serve.
I’ll also recommend a simple recipe for the farmers market fan. Buy a loose leaf gunpowder green tea from your favorite local tea shop and add fresh mint leaves. So simple but so refreshing!
While I’ll still be sipping hot tea in the morning, I’ve be enjoying ALL of these iced teas as I make my way through my summer reading list or enjoying a simple farmers market supper on a Saturday night.
What’s your favorite way to do iced tea? How are you making summer special?