teaiced

So.  June is National Iced Tea Month!  I don't know if you know this, but good iced tea is literally one of the most refreshing things in the entire world.  It's pretty much only surpassed by a good lemon-lime soda and plain old water.

Now I'm not talking about Turner's Iced Tea here.  I'm not talking about Arizona.  Those things have their place, of course.  Far be it from me to disparage a nice sugary drink.  But real iced tea, brewed at home and chilled with a billion ice cubes, is on a completely other level.  It's like the difference between RC Cola and Coke.  Or the difference between literally any other ketchup and Heinz.  There's really no comparison.  Because homemade iced tea is the tits.

So in honor of Iced Tea Month, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite iced tea concoctions, Cold-brewed Iced Tea with Mint!  (There's not really a way to fix the name of it so it sounds catchy.  Believe me, I've tried.  Let me know if you come up with something!)

Lemon-Mint-Iced-Tea-6

First of all, why brew the tea cold?  Using boiling water is faster (way way way faster, actually) and you still get tea, right?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, tea is tea, but cold brewing extracts the flavor from the leaves differently.  Cold brewed tea has less of the tannic, astringent tastes of the leaves steeped in boiling water.  I don't really understand the chemistry of it (though I guess I should look it up), but apparently brewing tea or coffee with boiling water brings out more of the bitter flavors of the leaves/beans and cold brewing tea or coffee doesn't do that.  (P.s., cold brewed coffee is also freakin' great.)

So anyway, cold-brewing tea.  What you do is you take a good, reliable, plain black tea.  Let's say Luzianne for argument's sake.  One tea bag per cup of water is a great ratio for a full-flavored mixture.  So four tea bags for a quart of water.  Add to that approximately a cup of slightly crushed/bruised mint leaves and let that steep in the fridge for at least 6 hours.  Overnight is usually a good way to do it.  Now, there are people out there who are pretty hardcore sun tea enthusiasts.  This is just like that, only your tea doesn't have to sit warm outside for hours growing bacteria.  Takes a little longer, but the flavor is just as good, I promise.

So anyway, you take out the tea bags and the mint leaves, you add a slice of lemon and some simple syrup over ice and there you have the summer's most refreshing drink.  Tada!

 

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