Cool off with custom brewed iced tea
Quenching a summer thirst can be tricky. Commercial soda and iced tea are full of sugar and chemicals, sports drinks tend to be full of food colouring and more sugar and water can be a bit boring when everyone around you is sipping iced coffee with whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
But there is a better option when you’re looking to rehydrate in the summer heat, with your own custom blend of iced tea. I’ll tell you about the one currently in my fridge, but use it as a starting point and adjust to suit your family’s preferences. I usually use one green or black tea and add something a bit fruitier so my kids will drink it too.
Tip #1: Always brew in a glass pitcher to prevent chemicals leaching in from a plastic jug. Just swirl a bit of boiling water in the bottom first to prevent the heat from shocking it. Then dump it out, add your tea and pour away!
For my most recent batch, I started with an organic detox blend from David’s Tea but was worried my littlest one would be turned off by the taste.
So I added a bag of Stash’s coconut mango oolong to make it more kid-friendly. Then I grabbed some fresh mint leaves from the garden and threw them in too.
Tip #2: When you’re brewing your own tea, always brew it double strength. So use twice the tea you normally would, and let it steep for at least 12-15 minutes.
Toss in your tea and mint leaves (if using) and fill your pitcher about 3/4 of the way full with boiling water.
I also mixed in a generous tablespoon of raw honey and stirred till it melted. If you’re used to commercial iced teas, you can start with more honey and gradually reduce the amount as your tastebuds adjust.
And considering that Nestea has about 35 mg of sugar in a 500 ml serving, scaling back probably isn’t a bad idea. If you don’t want any sweetness, you can skip the honey altogether.
After steeping, I removed the tea and filled the pitcher the rest of the way with cold, filtered water.
Tip #3: You can also add a splash of fresh orange, lime or lemon juice, or serve in the pitcher with ice and slices of orange, strawberries or blueberries for a little extra colour.
Once you’ve brewed the perfect batch, store it in your fridge if there’s any left. Iced herbal tea is a great way to rehydrate and remineralize your system and you can test out different delicious combinations all summer long.
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