Ice tea 2.0

I am calling this post Ice tea 2.0 because what I am about to write will change your lives forever, yess it sure will! Wanna bet? Keep reading.

I got to attend a really cool culinary workshop about tea hosted by Fair Trade brand Clipper tea and Max Havelaar, the fair trade organisation here in the Netherlands. It was a very unique and special experience, one I will never forget. More about that later on the blog.

While attending the workshops, we got loads of tips and tricks from a real tea sommelier and the moment I entered the building, I spotted the little cute ice tea corner. 

Last year I already blogged a numerous amount of Ice tea recipes; one for Pink Fizz Ice tea with red fruits and one with Green tea and mint. As I learned a lot more about how to drink tea and better yet, how to make a perfect cup of tea, I wanted to share my latest findings with you guys. 

tijd voor thee
At the workshop, the tea sommelier discussed a few things with us.

Pimp your own tea
If you’ve got loose tea, don’t be affraid to pimp it. Dried fruits and superfoods like goji berries, dried chillies, rose petals, star anise and dried lemon can really spice things up in a good way.

Type of water used
Very crucial when putting the perfect cup of tea is using “soft” water. Meaning water that doesn’t come straight from the tap, but water from a bottle. Think Spa, Evian and Fuji. They all have a certain amount of “softness’ too them, so use whatever floats your boat. Best thing too keep in mind is filtered water works and the more oxygen the better.

Temperature
Depending on the tea you’ll be drinking, you need to work with different temperatures for the water.

Green tea: 60/70 degrees C
Red/Black tea: 80-95 degrees C
White tea is something that we don’t really get to drink here in the Netherlands. Whenever you’ll see a tea packaging claiming to be white tea, its most likely not. Your probably buying some sort of extract. Why? Because white tea is plucked and imported to China directly and therefor exclusive and very pricey. White tea is actually the upper bud that grows on the tea plant Camellia sinensis plant. 

To make your life easier, you can always buy a tea machine. A machine thats been developed to make you sip on a perfect tea. However, using your common sense and a little help from a thermometer will get you the same result.

Give it some time
The tea needs some time to “distress” or basically loosen. If your using quality teas, they will only get better when left to sit for at least 5 minutes. Give them time to bloom and you’ll taste the difference.

I think we’ve covered enough for us to go to my desired subject today: Ice Tea. There are also different methods to make it:
1. Make tea using hot water and let it cool and refrigerate OR
2. Make tea using cold water and thats exactly the secret I wanted to share here today.
ijsthee culinessa
Recipe for Ice Tea, but then made with a twist


Ingredients

1 liter of bottled water like SPA

2 bags of your favorite quality tea (I used Clipper Lemon and Ginger)
Use Honey or sugar to sweeten as desired.
Optional, but so good when adding are fruits or herbs (I used fresh lemon and ginger)
Tip! Instead of using honey, use apple juice to sweeten your tea. This will make it an even fruitier party.

Method
Cut open the tea bags your using and pour the contents in to a 1 liter water bottle. However if you using Clipper tea, you don’t have to cut open the bags as their materials are purely organic and they haven’t bleached the teabags.

Let the bottle stand in the fridge for about 10-12hrs before adding some sweetener.

Now who knew about this brilliant technique to make Ice tea like this? I really loved the softness of the ice tea and will make it accordingly from now on. Next time I’ll be experimenting with my other Clipper love, the Green tea with Raspberry and mint.

If you liked this recipe, please be sure to check out more of my drink recipes here.