Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tea of the Day!

Sangria Iced Tea! (Non-alchoholic): 4/5

One of my friends just had a tea party themed birthday party! (Complete with scones and homemade Devonshire cream!) As it's, you know, July, and quite hot out, instead of hot tea (which was available but of which no one availed themselves), her mum made a giant, lovely pitcher (of which, alas, I have no photograph) of Iced Tea based on the idea of Sangria! (and to which a few people added their own alcohol)

Tea #1 (did I mention there were TWO???) :
~6 bags plain black tea
~1 bag mixed berry tea
~1 c. sugar (we all know I'm not a huge fan of sweetening my tea. so someday I'll be not lazy
enough to try this again without the sugar and see how it is)
~1 orange, sliced
~1 lemon, sliced
~20 red grapes, sliced or mushed
~about 1 gallon of water

Brew the teas. Chill. Pour into large, fancy pitcher. Add fruit. Stir. Add ice. YUM!
(Those who added alcohol recommended the pomegranate vodka as the best choice)

Tea #2!:
~6 bags plain black tea
~1 c. sugar
~1 lime, sliced
~5 large strawberries, sliced and mushed
~20 green grapes, sliced or mushed
~Generous splash of orange soda!
~1 gallon of water

The first tea was such a hit that suddenly it was gone and guests were still arriving! There was more black tea brewed, but no more mixed berry! So we sliced up some different fruit and threw it in, mixed, and it still needed something. Luckily there was a bottle of orange soda sitting right next to where I was helping! I splashed a bit in and stirred. Perfect!

A fun new beverage to serve at your summer cookouts!

*In 1938 Good Housekeeping apologized for not addressing proper tea brewing and followed up with a two page instruction sheet.*

Water: In Ch'a Ching, his eighth-century volume on tea, Lu Yu rated the best water for brewing the drink: First, that from a mountain spring; then from a river; last from a well. Springwater is best when it flows over a bed of rocks, he further noted. The use of chemically treated tap water, unimaginable in the eighth century, is frowned upon today. Tea experts recommend using spring water with a pH of 7 and a mineral content of 30 parts per millileter; filtered tap water is acceptable. Experts also recommend that water not be 'overboiled' - as soon as it reaches the proper temperature (depending on the type of tea), it should be poured immediately or the taste will be flat.
~All About Tea Knowledge Cards


Peerless said...

Mmmmm fruit! That sounds fantastic.

Do you think the temperature at the time the tea flavor is applied, changes the actual flavor(minus burning)? I'm trying to think of what that means for my silly but awesome intuit tea steep and dispense thingy.

Whyte Fairy said...

I don't know much about the water temperature issue. I dont have a proper thermometer and most of my tea drinking takes place a) at work where I get the hot water from the hot water dispenser or b) I NEED TEA NOW and when the kettle boils, in it goes. To be fair, I also ignore the rules for steeping time (which very much affects flavor), but that's out of my own preference for improperly steeped tea...