Tea tastes best when it’s brewed up fresh. While the majority of us brew our hot tea one cup at a time, though, many of use turn around and brew our iced tea in bulk, letting it steep in a pan and then pouring it into a pitcher to sit in the refrigerator.
The good news for those who like to brew up a pot of tea and keep it cold in the refrigerator is that you’re not losing those precious antioxidants. A study by Prevention Magazine found that tea that sits in the refrigerator overnight actually retains the same antioxidant levels as drinking it fresh-brewed.
When it comes to letting tea sit, it’s the taste that suffers, at least if tea purists are to be believed. Flash chilling is a way to turn just-steeped tea into iced tea to lock in that freshly-brewed flavor.
How to Flash Chill Iced Tea
Before you start the brewing process, you need to gather a few supplies. For flash chilling, you’ll need –
- Heat-resistant mug or measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
Non-typical tea tool:
- Drink shaker
1 – Place two heaping teaspoons of tea (and any extra spices or flavorings) in a heat-resistant mug or cup. Make sure you have a cup with a handle to make pouring easier.
2 – Pour roughly 1 ¼ cup of boiling water over tea. Let steep for 2 minutes.
3 – Fill a drink shaker with 5 to 6 large ice cubes.
4 – Add the brewed tea to the shaker, pouring through a filter to catch the tea leaves.
5 – Place the lid on the shaker, and shake until all the ice inside has fully melted.
6 – Fix up a glass with a few ice cubes and your favorite tea garnishments, such as mint or lemon. Pour the chilled tea into the glass, and quiver with the delicious ecstasy of drinking fresh iced tea.
Play with the flavor. Adjust the amount of tea to your taste. Keep in mind, you’ll need a strong brew to compensate for the ice. Alternately, add time onto the steep time for a stronger flavor. Just don’t go over the recommended time on the tea packaging, or your tea might turn out bitter.
Increase steeping time if the tea tastes too weak, but don’t go over the recommended time on the tea’s packaging to avoid over-extraction.
Add sweeteners, such as honey or sugar, to the tea as it brews to ensure proper distribution.
Buy bagged ice or make ice cubes with filtered water to ensure your flash-chilled iced tea tastes its very best.