Iced tea is making a comeback this summer – but not as you know it. Editor Trudi Brewer reveals the benefits of brewing your own refreshing, chilled cuppa.
It's one of the most refreshing ways to cool down and rehydrate on a hot summer's day, but all too often bottled iced teas are loaded with sugar and concentrated fruit juice, cancelling out the benefits of drinking tea. New research shows the English breakfast tea can be useful for your health and help with weight loss. The University of California found that black tea stimulates the production of good bacteria in your gut, and boosts your energy metabolism, all good news if you're a tea addict. If he solution? BYO (that's Brew Your Own). Making iced tea is easy and, most importantly, healthy because you are in complete control of what goes in it.
What’s in it
Tea contains naturally high levels of antioxidants and much less caffeine than coffee, and if you keep your iced tea refined-sugar-free, you'll be helping your waistline. New research shows the English breakfast tea can be useful for your health and help with weight loss. The University of California found that black tea namely English breakfast stimulates the production of good bacteria in your gut, and boosts your energy metabolism, all good news if you're a tea addict. Summer is the best time to get into a daily sip of iced tea, it’s also sophisticated, and great for those AFD days (alcohol-free days), ideal for summer barbecues, picnics and beach parties. Ready to get brewing? Here’s our tea tips.
Choose your tea
Whether you prefer loose leaf or tea bags, choosing a high-quality tea for your iced brew is key. Chanui offers a wide variety of specialty teas, premium teas, green teas and herbal teas, which all make a good thirst-quenching base for your brew.
To make a basic iced tea, you need approximately one tea bag (or half a tablespoon of loose leaf tea) for every cup of water. This recipe makes about 2 litres:
Our infusion method for making iced tea
Steep 8 tea bags (or 4 tablespoons of loose tea) in 4 cups of boiled water for 3-4 minutes.
Remove tea bags (or strain loose tea) and pour into a 2 litre jug. Add 4 cups of cold water and stir.
Add a flavour infusion of your choice (see below).
Cover and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Strain over ice (if necessary) and enjoy.
Steeping times will depend on the variety of tea you are using, black teas will need less time than herbal or green teas.
Add your infusion
Once you've made your basic iced tea, you can flavour it any way you wish by adding an infusion before you chill it in the fridge. Adding slices of citrus fruits like orange or lemon works very well with black tea, as does chopped up stone fruit, such as nectarine or peach. With herbal or green teas try adding ginger and cucumber or herbs and spices like mint, cinnamon or vanilla bean. If you want to sweeten your tea without adding refined sugar, add slices of sun ripened summer stone fruit.
Our favourite combinations
While the world is your oyster as far as flavour combinations go, here are four of our favourites to get you started:
Iced Earl Grey latte
Chainui Earl Grey Tea Bags, $5.
The traditional bergamot flavour of Earl Grey is ideal when given a nutty twist. To make a iced latte use the infusion method, and then add 1/4 of a cup of coconut, almond milk blend, or your favourite nut milk. To sweeten add two teaspoons of sweetened condensed milk or honey.
English breakfast iced tea with zesty, citrus
Chanui English Breakfast Loose Leaf tea, $5.
A subtle iced tea with zesty, citrus flavours and once infused with slices of lemon or lime it’s a classic combination that never goes out of fashion. Use the infusion method and then add slices of orange and a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Iced green tea infused with fresh mint and honey
Chamomile iced tea infused with fresh cherries
Chanui Chamomile Tea Bags, $5.
Once infused add a sweet bite to this iced tea, with fresh cherries. Instantly relaxing, it’s ideal at night (instead of chocolate) sit back and relax with this sleep-inducing brew.