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.
Recently I wrote about making a fast glass of loose iced tea. It is such a great method to cool off, during this record heat summer we are having. I'm going through iced tea so very quickly, that a pitcher doesn't last very long in my home.
Anyway I found a video that shows how to make a quick glass of iced tea. This Brewing Loose Iced Tea video is just over a minute long, so won't take long to watch. He uses what appears to be the Teavana Perfect Tea Maker, which is a great option for steeping both hot and iced tea.
You can find some great loose teas from Teavana along with tea making accessories. They are also offering free shipping with a $50 order right now, a great savings to your order.
What is your favorite tea from Teavana? I am a big fan of their herbal and rooibos blends.
My daughter received this very cute Children's Tea Set for her birthday last week. It is made by Schylling and is a porcelain tea set that she can really use. Just like Fiestaware, it is brightly colored.
It is perfect for brewing her own tea. She can either put a tea bag or two inside along with hot water or a loose tea blend and then pour over a strainer. It is also great for juice, water or lemonade too. Whatever her tea party guests prefer.
Here is her little table set to enjoy tea and cookies with her dolls. The cookie set is from Melissa and Doug and those are Haba tea bags. Perfect for a pretend tea party. The plates are from Ikea.
If you are looking for a children's tea set, then definitely consider this one. We love it. It is available from Amazon. They have also been very reliable and offer fast shipping.
P.S. Here is a close up shot that my daughter took and really wanted to share with you all. Enjoy!
Brewing loose green tea can seem like a difficult task when compared to the ease of using a tea bag. I put together this short video though to show just how easy it can be to brew a cup of loose green tea with just a few simple items.
One of the most important components of brewing tea is water. It is important to use a good source of water, preferably filtered. Equally important is the temperature of the water. Different types of teas require different temperatures to get the best cup of tea. Here is a guide to the perfect water temperatures for brewing tea.
Black Tea - You want to bring the water to a full rolling boil for black tea. You want to steep black tea for 3 to 5 minutes.
Green Tea - This is the most delicate tea to brew. You will get the best cup of tea if you bring the water to 160 degrees and steep for 2 to 4 minutes.
White Tea - A prized tea, it is a bit more robust than green tea. You will get a great cup of tea if you bring the water to 180 degrees and steep for 4 to 6 minutes.
Oolong Tea - Bring the water to a 190 degrees and steep this tea for 5 to 8 minutes.
Rooibos Tea - This tea is very similar to black tea in that you want to bring the water to a full rolling boil and steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
Keep this guide handy by bookmarking this page. That way it will always be available when you are brewing tea. It is also a good idea to invest in a good tea thermometer to help out.
Monday through Friday I have to drive my daughter to school, so morning is a rush. I seldom like leaving without a travel mug full of fresh brewed tea in hand though. The mornings are pretty cold right now and it is nice to have something warm to drink for the drive. I typically brew my tea inside of a teapot, but in the morning I am in a hurry and don't want lots to clean later.
My solution for brewing loose tea to go is an infuser basket and a stainless steel travel mug. Why stainless steel? We tend to avoid plastic in our house for a variety of reasons. They do make some lovely glass travel tea mugs, but I'm a huge klutz so I'm guessing it wouldn't travel for long (for me anyway). Stainless steel is a great choice because it is resilent (within reason of course), cleans up easily and retains heat for a long time.
I use this one and really like it. It has a 20 oz capacity so I can make a really big cup of tea to get me through the morning. Plus it can also be used at my local coffee shop for their venti size drinks. I like to go green whenever I can. I then start my kettle, set the infuser basket to rests on the rim, fill with some loose tea, and steep for a few minutes. When it is done I just remove the infuser basket, put the lid on and go. Very easy and minimal cleanup.
That is how I enjoy a nice cup of loose tea to go. You can save even more time by setting up everything the night before, including putting the tea in the infuser basket.
While there are some tea bags in our tea cabinet, the majority is loose teas. I find that they have a far superior flavor to tea made from a teabag. We have everything from a gundpowder green tea flavored with almond slices to a rooibos with red currants and blue mallow blossoms.
Loose teas can be either single origin teas that are just purely tea leaves. Other times they are blends of various teas, flowers, fruits, or berries. Brewing tea loose in a tea pot or inside of an infuser is a great way to let the leaves expand and uncurl in the water. You want to give the essential oils a chance to impart as much flavor to the water as possible.
While I have tried some poor quality loose teas, for the most part the teas that I sampled are all very good quality. Most tea merchants choose the finest quality tea leaves.
What do you look for when choosing a tea? What are some of your favorite loose teas? It is definitely all based on personal preference. My husband has not found a rooibos tea that he likes and while I like most teas, I do not like to drink chai tea iced. We would love to know what you like and dislike.