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Iced Tea Pitcher

Mother Nature has been teasing us here in Michigan with some summer like days. Which has lead to drinking iced tea by the pitcher. Which got me to thinking that I may want to invest in a new iced tea pitcher for when summer is actually here.

My requirements are something easy to use and something that is made for brewing loose leaf iced tea. I came up with a couple of possibilities.

 

Green Tea Latte Recipe

Green Tea Latte RecipeI am a huge fan of Starbucks's Green Tea Lattes. I could drink one everyday. Unfortunately starting around $3 a pop, they are not the most economical thing to drink.

So I've come up with my own green tea latte recipe and it works for either hot or cold drinks. You will need:

  • the milk of your choice
  • simple syrup (2 parts water, 1 part sugar brought to a boil and then cooled completely)
  • matcha powder with sugar
  • ice for a cold drink

I usually make up the simple syrup ahead of time and store it in the fridge. In your favorite tea cup add your preferred amount of simple syrup. I don't usually measure this out, it is more of an eyeball it to your own taste sort of thing. If making an iced green tea latte, then just pour in cold milk. If not, heat it up first.

Then I add the matcha powder on top. Starbucks uses a sweetened matcha powder, but they don't sell it in the stores. I suggest the matcha from Mighty Leaf Tea found below as a substitute.

You can stir everything together with a spoon, but I find having a little milk frother works very nicely to blend it all together. Add ice, if cold, and enjoy.

I know there is a lack of concrete measurements in my green tea latte recipe, but I really think it is one of those things you need to do some trial and error on to find what works best for you.

Bodum Double Walled Tea Cups

Bodum Double Walled Tea CupI love double walled tea cups. Generally they don't have a handle and I love the smoothness and ability to hold the cup from any side.  Some of the best known are these Bodum double walled tea cups.

The double wall helps to insulate your hand from the heat of the liquid inside. And it also gives the tea a neat appearance as it appears suspended in thin air. They are made from borosilicate-glass to withstand both hot and cold liquids.

You can get just the Bodum tea cup or they also make an infuser tea cup that has a lid and steeping basket to make a single cup of loose tea. After steeping the lid holds the steeping basket to contain any liquid when the tea leaves drain. This version comes in black, green, orange, and red. Pretty and functional too!

There is also a handled version of this tea cup too, in case you prefer one.

Why is There Popcorn in my Genmaicha Tea?

Genmaicha TeaRecently I had the pleasure of trying my first Genmaicha tea. It was a bit unusual when I first opened up the package as it contains green tea leaves along with roasted brown rice. I wasn't too sure of it at first. And then I noticed the white pieces in it and thought 'why is there popcorn in my genmaicha tea?'

To find out the answer you have to know a bit of the history of this tea. It was originally a tea that was popular amongst peasants in Japan. They added the brown rice as a filler to reduce the amount of green tea leaves needed. In the process of roasting the brown rice, some of it pops like popcorn. It all gets added to the green tea leaves so that is why there is popcorn in genmaicha tea.

The result is a nutty and sweet green tea. Now it is enjoyed by everyone in society. I really enjoy it and highly recommend everyone who loves loose green tea to give it a try. Here a a few varieties to try:

Making Loose Tea in Your Dorm Room

If you are a tea drinker and living in a dorm away at college, then I know how difficult it can be to have some of the comforts of home. Making loose tea in your dorm room though is pretty simple with a few basic things. Here is what you will need:

  1. An electric tea kettle. Plug in, add water, and turn on. You can have hot water in just a few minutes.
  2. Loose Tea Travel Mug. The best way to brew tea is in a travel mug that you can take with you. Let's face it, most of college happens outside of your dorm room so you won't be sitting around sipping a cup there. Instead you need something that you can add loose tea to, pour in hot water, and go.
  3. Loose Tea of course. I recommend stocking up on some green tea to help keep your immune system in tip top shape. The caffeine won't hurt either for those late night study sessions.

Here are some items that will be perfect. Remember, living in a dorm does not mean you must give up your loose tea.

Making Fast Iced Tea

Summer has been very hot so far and it has made my morning cup of hot tea very unappealing. I'm also not always the best at remembering to make up a pitcher of iced tea the night before, so I've been working on a system for making fast iced tea. This is what is working for me.

Step 1: Brew a cup of loose leaf tea in my usual way, perhaps adding more tea leaves than usual.

Making Iced Tea Fast

Step 2: Add 1 cup of ice to a 2 cup pyrex glass measuring cup. I use the pyrex measuring cup because it is made to hold both hot and cold liquids and I figure most people already have one in their kitchen.

Pyrex Measuring Cup with Ice

Step 3: Pouring the hot tea over the ice. Once it has cooled (and this usually happens fairly quickly) I pour it into the drinking glass of my choice.

Pour Tea Over Ice

Simple and fast! Plus I still get to enjoy my morning ritual of picking out a tea, using my tea kettle, and inhaling the nice aroma of a freshly steeped cup of loose tea.

Making Fast Iced Tea

Today's iced tea was made with American Tea Room's Immortal Green, a pyrex measuring cup, and my Kati loose tea brewing system.

How do you make iced tea? Any tips you would love to share, feel free to do so in the comments.  Thanks!

Spotted: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

Breville One Touch Tea MakerThe hottest new item in the tea world is the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker. I must admit, when I first heard about it, I instantly wanted one. And it looks like so does everyone else. It is a hard item to come by, with many stores sold out or down to their last few instock ones.

While out and about this weekend I got to see one in person and it is pretty nice. The tea kettle part is pretty hefty and is a combo of glass, plastic, and stainless steel.

If you are looking for the best way to brew loose tea this is it. You can set it for Black, White, Green, Herbal, Oolong and a custom setting. It would be absolutely perfect for getting ready in the evening before bed and then walking up to a perfect cup of tea.

It works by heating the water in the bottom to the right temperature, then drops the steeping basket into the water. The basket is then lifted back out out of the water after a specific time. You can set it to keep the tea warm for up to 60 minutes after brewing.

The only drawback I can see to this tea kettle is the cleaning. You can not immerse the kettle itself, so you must wash the interior carefully. The steeping basket comes completely out though. The dropping mechanism appears to work with a magnet, so it pops right out.

I love the details on this. The kettle has a second guard over the pour spout to catch any loose tea that may have escaped the steeping basket. The stores that may have this in stock include Amazon and the American Tea Room. Definitely check out the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker. Super cool tea kettle!