Summer is at an end and I have stopped offering my iced green tea at the Sugarland market. Look for a new holiday tea beverage in November. I haven't got the recipe sorted out yet, but it will be a hot spiced black tea.
For those of you who loved my iced green tea and would like to have some at your own home I am including my simple recipe. It really is just tea, mint and water (and time). The most difficult part of the recipe is choosing the right green tea. I used a mid-grade green tea that was scented with jasmine blossoms 3-5 times. I also strongly encourage you to use loose tea as the quality is so much better than any bagged tea on the market. The recipe I am including is for a half gallon, you can double or half it easily if you want a different quantity. The amount of steeping time is up to you. The flavor changes from mostly mint and jasmine (12-hour brew) to mostly green tea (24-hour brew). Somewhere in-between these two is likely best.
Iced Jasmine Green Tea with Fresh Mint
- 2 tablespoons loose jasmine green tea (or 3-5 teabags, depending on quality)
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves, roughly torn (keep stems to a minimum)
- 4 cups cool water (use good tasting water)
- Put ingredients in a lidded container (a small pitcher will do), place in the fridge for 12-24 hours (I liked 16 hours, myself).
- After the desired steeping time is complete, pour into a second container or pitcher (that can hold a half gallon). Use a strainer to catch tea leaves and mint when pouring.
- Add another 4 cups of cool water, enjoy. The brew is now ready, but I like to let it sit in the fridge for a day or two to let the flavors really meld. Serve over ice, if you like.
You can use this method with almost any tea. Use a longer steeping time for black and oolong teas, and a shorter for green and white teas. And in fact, the better quality the tea, the better a cold brew will come out. The long, slow steeping brings out the best qualities in the tea while leaving behind most of the astringency and bitterness that is pulled out by hot water. You can also try other additions such as whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon, allspice), sliced fruit (citrus, berries, stonefruit), lemongrass, basil, etc. Anything that is subtle and has great aromatics is likely going to lend itself well to cold-brew tea. If you have a great cold-brew tea recipe, post it in the comments, I would love to hear about it.