Drinking several cups of tea a day is a delicious way to improve your health. Drinking tea can help with the health of your teeth, gums, and bones. Tea will also help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Tea, whether green, black, white, or oolong is loaded with flavonoids, the antioxidants that help the body ward off unwanted disease.
As the summer heats up, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids. Homemade iced tea is a great way to keep your body hydrated as the summer heats up.
You will derive the most benefit from drinking freshly brewed tea, and now is the time to begin enjoying refreshing iced tea that you brew at home. Brewing your own tea ensures that you will get the most benefit from the tea. By not using powdered mixes or buying bottled iced tea, you will save money and eliminate the sweeteners and preservatives in prepared teas.
Top 5 Tips for Brewing Great Iced Tea
- Use fresh tea leaves. The oils in the leaves that give tea its flavor break down over time, diminishing the flavor of the tea. Opt for loose leaf teas rather than tea bags. Loose teas release more flavor as they expand and are fresher.
- Use fresh spring or filtered tap water. The quality of water will affect the flavor of your tea. Mineral water will give your tea an off-flavor and distilled water will make the tea taste ‘flat’.
- Use the correct water temperature. Black teas and herbals can be steeped in near boiling water, but boiling water will scorch white and green teas leaves, making the tea bitter. Oolongs can withstand hot to near-boiling water.
- Use the correct amount of tea. When brewing tea for iced tea, use twice the recommended amount of tea leaf as for hot brewing. Adding ice to hot tea will dilute the flavor of the tea.
- Use the correct steeping time. Tannins and other bitter tasting compounds may be released if tea is steeped for longer than the recommended time. Black teas, darker oolongs and herbals should be steeped for 3 to 5 minutes while white, green and lighter oolongs should steep for just 2 to 3 minutes.
- Bonus Tip: For white tea, you may want to try the cold-brew method for a simple, fail proof way to make iced white tea.