Friday Drinks and Frozen Day ♥♥
With the weather getting warmer and warmer everyday, I think we could all agree that we need something that will cool us off and keep us feeling refresh. Since it is Summer, I am making a seasonal post just for the Summer season and this will happen on Fridays. I am calling it Friday Drinks and Frozen Day 🙂 The post will mostly be about Summer drinks and frozen treats to keep up cool and comfy during the Summer season. If it is not Summer where you are right now, do not worry because you can always go back and search for these recipes whenever Summer arrives in your area or you are just feeling to get chilled. Some of the drinks that I am sharing here and even the smoothie can be made any day of the year.
Here is a short video on how to make the base iced lemonade. You can boil the tea bags or you can simply steep it for few minutes or as per your tea bags instructions. There are some tea that are quite strong, and there are some tea that are mild so the steeping time matters. For cold brew ice tea, there is no boiling require as the tea will be steep for longer period of time. This produces a sweeter less bitter taste.
With the hot summer weather we are currently having, all I can think of is to drink and drink and drink. I just want something refreshing to drink, something light and non-carbonated too. Summer is the time of the year when coffee shops big or small starts promoting more and more cold ice tea drinks or different flavors and variations. I favor this kind of drink over pop or carbonated drinks because I find cold fruity tea drinks more refreshing and light.
While I love the convenience of being able to have my tea ready in 3 minutes, I actually wouldn’t mind waiting 8 hours to have a delicious cold brew tea. Sounds crazy? Here me out and let me tell you what cold brew tea, how it is made and why it is the BEST way of making the tea. This Blueberry Cold Brew Tea was worth the wait.
I cannot remember exactly when I started drinking tea, but I do remember that I hated hot steep tea when I was back in the Philippines. The only tea that I can tolerate and love back then is the sugar loaded powered Nestle Lemon Ice Tea, where I guess 80% of it was just sugar. Maybe that’s why it taste so good, because sugar is addictive and the more thy you have it, the more that you want more. I never make my own fresh tea back then, I never thought of squeezing fresh lemon myself or boiling my tea and waiting for hours or even for minutes. When I moved here in Canada, things changed. A lot of things changed, and the biggest change was in my lifestyle and the food the I eat. I started drinking hot tea, that I would probably say because of the cold weather. Since I don’t drink coffee, I resorted to drinking tea in the morning. I only use light tea as I cannot tolerate strong tea, specially the bitter taste of strong tea. Green tea is my usual tea, and during the Summer I drink fruit flavored cold tea. I had been used to the hot steep tea method of making a tea and it was just recently that I discovered about cold brew tea. You probably have heard about it already, and maybe tried it. I was so curious about it, and I was so excited to try it. I you’ve seen my Peach Mint Tea, you probably know how crazy I was about the idea of cold brew tea. Let me tell you why.
What is Cold Brew Tea?
Cold brew tea is tea steeped in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time. The cold brew steeping process brews the tea leaves slowly, using time rather than temperature to release the flavors.
Cold brew tea vs hot tea, what is the difference?
- Taste – Aside from cold brew uses room temperature water or cold water plus longer steeping time, the difference between the two lies greatly in the taste. Cold brew tea tends to be milder and sweet tasting tea without a trace of bitterness in it. When room temperature or cold water is used to steep tea, there is very little (or non at all) heat to release the tannin and caffeine in the tea, resulting in a smooth sweet tasting tea.
- Transparency – Cold brew tea are usually crystal clear
- Less Caffeine – Although it still contains caffeine, it has less in it compare to hot tea or iced tea
- No bitter taste – because it has less tannin which makes it less astringent, cold brew tea do not have bitter taste like when you over steep a hot tea.
How Does Cold Brew Tea Taste?
Cold brew tea taste very mild and light and without any hint of any bitterness in it even though it had been steep for more than 8 hours. It taste so good, so refreshing and when a fruit was added to it, I can taste the natural infused fruit flavor in the tea. You won’t feel as heavy when finishing a cup of it as compared to drinking a sugar loaded tea, or worst powdered tea. Because it doesn’t have the bitterness but only natural sweetness of the infused fruit flavor, it gives a really refreshing feeling after drinking it, it really quench the thirst. It may sound crazy waiting for 8 hours or more to drink a tea, but if is really not a big deal of a wait. The number 8 hours sounds crazy, but if you make it at night and leave it overnight in the fridge you won’t even notice the 8 hours wait. You’ll be happy to wake up in the morning knowing that you have this refreshing cold brew tea specially in the peak of the Summer where it gets hot and sticky even early in the morning.
How to make cold brew tea at home
Making a cold brew tea is not difficult at all. Although it is not as quick and ready to drink as compared to steep iced tea, but it is totally worth it. You’ll start by filling a jar with room temperature or cold water instead of boiling water. Then leave the tea bags submerge in the water for about 4 -6 hours. Because of the length of time needed to make cold brew tea, it is recommended to make it at night and leave it in the fridge overnight. This way, you don’t have to count the hours waiting for it. Go to bed, sleep and wake up with a glass of col new tea waiting for you the following day. Once you have the tea bags submerge, pour in the sugar sweetener which is basically a sugar syrup. A combination of water and sugar. You can also use honey but make sure to dissolve the honey in hot water and let it cool before pouring it in the tea mixture. You can also use any plant based sweetener of your choice. Add in slices of fruit and mint leaves, this will give a nice infused flavor, but you can also have it plain. Let sit and chill in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, pour in a glass with ice cubes and more sliced fruits.
Ingredients to Make Cold Brew Iced Tea
- Tea Bags – I’m using Earl Grey, you can use other mild tea or fruit flavored tea.
- Sugar Syrup – this will act as the sweetener for the tea which is basically just sugar dissolved in water
- Blueberry – I used fresh Blueberry, frozen Blueberry will work too
What tea will work for this?
I used Blueberry tea, you can use other tea flavor but you make sure to choose the right fruit that will work with it. I find that any mild fruit flavored tea works best for this tea. There’s no right or wrong in making this tea, it’s homemade anyway so make it your own version and creation.
What sweetener to use when making cold brew tea?
Sweeteners like honey and sugar blend and dissolve more easily in warm tea, so mix them in just while the water is still hot, before you chill it. If you need to sweeten cold brew tea, use simple syrup. Simple syrup is just sugar that’s been heated and dissolved in water, and it’s the best way to add sweetness to cold tea.
I used honey to sweeten the drink, you can use other sweeter but you may have to adjust the measurement. 1/3 cup of honey is not the same as 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in terms of sweetness, as honey is sweeter than sugar. Add gradually and play around with it.
Can I make this unsweetened?
Definitely! If you prefer unsweetened tea, just skip the step where you add the sweetener. Simply steep the tea, add lemon slices and pour in a glass with ice. Then add slices of Dragon fruit.
- 3 1/2 cups Water – for the tea
- 3 Tea Bags – I used Stash Blueberry Tea
- 1 1/4 cup Blueberry (Divided: 1 cup to extract Blueberry concentrate, 1/4 cup to mix in the juice)
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup Honey (Other sweetener can be used, or For unsweetened tea you can skip this)
- Ice Cubes
- Extract Blueberry Juice: In a small pan, add 1 cup Blueberry and 2 tbsp water from the 3 1/2 cups of water. Boil for 5 minutes until the Blueberry are soft and starts to burst. Transfer in a strainer with the bowl underneath. Use a spoon to mash the Blueberry and extract the juice. You should get about 3/4 cup of Blueberry juice from this.
- If you want to use less Blueberry concentrate, 1/2 cup Blueberry will give you 1/3 cup of Blueberry concentrate
- For Sweetened Tea: Add 1/2 cup of honey (or less, adjust to your preference) and 1 tbsp water (get it from the 3 1/2 cups of water) then microwave for 30 seconds to loosen up the honey. Pour into the Blueberry juice concentrate then mix to combine. You can also use other sweetener of your choice or totally skip this step if you prefer unsweetened cold brew tea.
- Mix: Pour cold water and blueberry juice concentrate mixture in the jar. Add the tea bags and stir. Cover then leave in the refrigerator overnight. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better the flavor will be. Leave the drink minimum 8 hours, or longer again for better flavor.
- Serve: Remove the tea bags, stir and pour in a glass with ice cubes or simply add ice cubes in the jar. Add remaining 1/4 cup Blueberries (optional).
Makes almost 5 cups
Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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My Latest Video
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