The dog daze of summer are here! It's just plum hot out there!
The plants are wilting if not watered right away. The farmers are wilting if not watered right away! The animals are looking for the coolest spot on the farm. Jasmine, our new livestock guardian dog, has made a new home behind the garage retaining wall in the cool mud. Bad news for a white dog!
The most flavorful and thirst quenching way that we water the people on the farm here is with iced tea! We have 3 ways that we make quick, simple, iced tea with loose leaf tea. When it's this simple its easy to drink plenty and stay hydrated.
Sometimes water just doesn't cut it and leaves us more thirsty than before we drank it. That's partially because our bodies need electrolytes, not just water. Electrolytes on their most basic levels are sugars and salts that help maintain healthy function in the body. Some of those may include sodium, potassium, calcium, and bicarbonate.
Herbal teas lend a lot of nutrients to the body and so they are super helpful in hydrating. Add some raw honey and some sea salt to your herbal tea and you have one powerful form of hydration on your hands.
Here are our top 3 ways to make simple iced tea using high quality loose leaf tea!
Loose leaf tea is a little more labor intensive when it comes to steeping iced tea but the quality will surpass any time involved! The method we use often, because I admit, I'm horrible at planning, is this 10 minute iced tea method.
This works great for having a bunch of iced tea throughout the day, or to take in a pinch to a party or gathering. It makes about 1 gallon of iced tea, but may be modified even down to a single cup.
10 Minute Iced Tea (with loose leaf tea)
1/2 gallon of cold or room temp. water +6 cups
8-10 cups of ice
16 tsp. loose leaf tea of choice
1.) Steep 16 tsp of tea in 6 cups of water. We prefer to do this using the French press. If you need tea steeping tips check out how to steep tea in the French press here.
2.) Add 8-10 cups of ice to your 1 gallon container along with 1/2 gallon of cold water.
3.) When tea is done steeping according to package instructions, pour into container that already has ice and cold water.
4.) Top the container off with ice or water according to your liking.
5.) Enjoy with friends!
Want to watch us make it?! Video below!
When I plan ahead, which I usually do the Friday before the local Farmer's Market, we cold brew our tea during the summer. Cold brewing tea is a slower method of brewing tea. It takes 8-12 hours to steep. There are great benefits to this though as the harshness of hot boiling water can sometimes make teas bitter, or too strong, or pungent. Its a super quick way to extract the constituents from the tea/herb leaves but that doesn't make it the best.
Cold brewing slowly pulls the constituents out of the tea/herbs and gives a softer, smoother flavor than when hot water is used. Of course this method takes time but it is super SIMPLE.
Cold Brewing Loose Leaf Tea
8 tsp of loose leaf tea
1/2 gallon of cold/room temp water
1/2 gallon container
1.) Place 8 tsp of loose leaf tea of choice in 1/2 gallon container.
2.) Add 1/2 gallon of cold/room temp. water. Swirl around a bit to make sure all of the tea and herbs have been submerged or are at least not floating on the top of the water dry.
3.) Place in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
4.) Strain herbs from tea, sip and enjoy!
*Tea Time Tip* If you are looking for a stronger flavor either steep longer or add additional tea to your steep.
Growing up my mom ALWAYS had sun tea going in the summer time. Given it was Lipton it still formed a habit of drinking healthy alternatives to soda (pop, depending on where you live!) and other sweet sugary drinks. Eventually the sun tea got replaced when the new fancy iced tea makers came out but nothing beats watching tea steep in the hot summer sun.
How to Brew Sun Tea
1/2 gallon room temp water
8 tsp of loose leaf tea of choice
1/2 gallon jar
1.) This method is almost the same as the cold brew! Place 8 tsp of tea into 1/2 gallon jar.
2.) Fill with water.
3.) Set outside in the hot summer sun. Watch it steep from the front porch while enjoying your favorite book. This will take about 5 or so hours depending on the temperature outside and the amount of sun that your tea gets - or however long it takes to finish that chapter.
4.) Strain tea/herbs from water, add ice, return to the front porch to sip and enjoy!
* Tea Time Tip * Want more tea but don't have a huge container. Steep 16 tsp of tea in a 1/2 gallon. Strain, add another 1/2 gallon of tea or ice to dilute.
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Want sun tea but hate diluting it with your ice? In last weeks video we share with you how to make tea iced cubes to prevent that dilution and also as a way to preserve tea that might be left over. IS THERE REALLY SUCH A THING? Well, sometimes we forget to drink our tea and there it sits luke warm... no good. Ice it and its good as new!