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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.

Loose Tea Canisters

Tea Canisters and Tea TinsStoring loose tea can be a bit of a challenge. It often comes in paper bags with a fold over top or in a zip topped bag. I prefer using tea canisters so that my tea cabinet doesn't look so messy and my loose tea is much easier to find.

There are a number of options that you can use. When I was first starting out, I would reuse glass jars to hold loose tea in. I found it to be a great way to show off the loose tea inside. I'm not so sure it is the freshest way to store tea long term though. Plus it can sometimes be difficult to really get rid of the odors from the jars previous inhabitants.

Enter loose tea canisters. They are made to keep moisture and light away from your loose tea, helping to keep it fresh for up to a year depending on the tea canister.

Here are a number of tea canisters that I think you may really like. Not only very beautiful but functional too.

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!