Did you know June is National Iced Tea Month? Timing is excellent because when the temperature rises there are few things more refreshing than a large glass of delicious iced tea!
While tea has been grown in the south since the late 18th century, iced tea only gained importance with the development of cooling in the 19th century – initially as a novelty, but over time as a staple on the menu of restaurants and even in household kitchens. Now it’s easy to list it as an American favorite. 1
In terms of the health factor of iced tea, with no added sugar, it is a calorie-free or extremely low-calorie drink. Many bottled iced teas have been shown to contain as much sugar as soda. It’s best to do it yourself. Unsweetened tea counts towards your daily water intake on the Nutrisystem weight loss plan.
Ready to brew? We’ve put together some of our top tips for pouring the perfect glass of iced tea.
1. Choose your tea
Different types of tea such as black, green, oolong or white have different taste profiles and even different health benefits. Black tea is known to be earthy, while green tea is classified as light and even grassy. White tea is known for its delicate, fruity taste and oolong tea has floral notes
Remember that the different teas have different levels of caffeine, with black tea being the highest. The health benefits of different types of tea can also vary. While all teas have some antioxidant power, green tea is considered to be the most potent. Green tea has been extensively studied and is believed to have the potential to reduce the risk of neurological diseases and cancer.
2. Choose your brewing method
Once you’ve decided what type of tea to make, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to brew it. These include cold brew, hot brew, and sun brew.
With hot brew, you make your tea as if you were making a hot cup of tea, but then add cold water and some ice to dilute it. With a cold brew, simply leave your mug of water and tea in the refrigerator. And with Sun Brew, as the name suggests, you can let your tea sit in the sun. Find out more about all three of these brewing methods here! >
All of the methods produce great results, although you can easily find tea lovers who swear their way is the best. Cold and sun-brewed teas should remove a little more flavor from the tea bags or leaves. However, not everyone has the time for these methods.
Whichever you choose, make sure you have the right brewing times and the right tea-to-water ratio for optimal results.
3. Fill it with fruit
As well as water enriched with fruits has become popular, poured iced tea is just as delicious! If you are cold brewing your tea, consider adding the cut fruit for brewing along with your loose tea or tea bags. This gives your finished product a whole new taste profile.
While you can try any combination that suits your taste preferences, here are a few we suggest. Black tea plus strawberries and lemons makes a refreshing combination. Likewise, oolong tea plus peach adds a delicious sweetness. Finally, we also like watermelon with green tea. But just as you may have experimented with the choices in your water, you can have fun and try different options in your tea to see what you like best.
4. Consider other supplements
Infusing fruit flavors into your tea, as we discussed above, is definitely a way to sweeten your drink without adding a lot of sugar. You could also consider adding honey, lemons (if you haven’t infused them), limes, or maybe even some herbs. Mint and basil can individually add a fun flavor to iced tea.
If you want something sweet, consider using a calorie-free sweetener like stevia. Any added sugar or honey will count towards your daily extras. It doesn’t take much to add a sweet taste while also keeping your tea healthier than the bottled one.
5. Spice up your ice cream – and your glass
Since the ice in iced tea is an important part, why not have fun with it? You can give an iced tea a very special feel by simply using one of these ice molds that make giant cubes. Or maybe you’re someone who likes crushed ice and enjoys nibbling on it as part of the drink!
You can also make ice cubes filled with fruit or infused with herbs to add color and flavor to your tea in a playful way.
Finally, why not serve in a fun glass or even a mason jar? Pampering yourself with a delicious glass or iced tea on a hot summer’s day is even more fun with funny glasses. Add a brightly colored straw and it will feel even more like a delicious treat.