Brewing at Home: Iced Tea

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Summer has officially arrived folks! In celebration of this hot season I would like to share some tea trade secrets. Ever wonder why our iced tea is so delicious? First, it’s cause we have only good tea here. Second, it’s our methods! In this blog I’m going to share some recipes and basic methods on how we make iced tea at Stone Leaf Teahouse. Do not worry, John has given me his permission. We use three primary methods because each tea is unique. We have the “Hot Method, “Cold Brew Method”, and “Shaken Method.” Hot or cold brew works great with almost any loose leaf tea, and powdered tea (Matcha) is for a-shakin’. Here at Stone Leaf Teahouse we have refined the recipes for EVERY iced tea we make. Each tea has its own fine tuned recipe…below, we’re sharing some methods to help you get started. Experiment to see what tastes the most delicious to you!

The photographs above are from a batch of Jiao Gu Lan iced tea that I made with our hot method. Jiao Gu Lan is a chinese herbal tea made from a vine. It’s naturally sweet and very earthy. I used approximately 10 grams of tea which equaled to about 1/4 of a cup of dried leaf for this batch. In general, for a 1/2 gallon of iced tea we use between 10 – 22 g of tea, depending on what you are brewing. Typically we use more leaf for black teas and less for the more delicate greens.

Hot Method Instructions: (so as to not water down your iced tea!)

Takes 15 minutes to get moderately warm, about 45 minutes cold.

  • Warm a 1/2 gallon mason glass jar (this helps to prevent the glass from cracking)
  • Add your choice of tea leaf (between 10 – 20 g depending on what tea you’re brewing)
  • Place the metal knife/fork/spoon in the jar (this also helps to prevent the glass from cracking)
  • add 2 cups of water off the boil
  • Let the tea steep like this for 2 – 5 minutes depending on the tea and how strong you like it
    • If you’d like to add sweetness, now is the time.
  • Fill the jar the rest of the way with cold water.
  • It will be still warm, you can cool it further by placing in a cold water bath, then place in the fridge to get cold!
    • or you can add a lot of ice if you don’t want to wait! It will water it down a little, so use a little more tea if you go this way.
  • Our teas are great on their own, but if you like, add ice, sprig of mint, or a slice of citrus.

Above is my home version of the Stone Leaf Teahouse cold brewed method for making Bi Luo Chun Iced. We use our “Cold Brew” method with teas like Bi Luo Chun, Nepal Imperial, and Darjeeling First flush because they are teas we admire for their soft qualities and want this to come across in the iced tea. But then again, you can use this cold brew method with any tea. For this home version I used about 1/2 cup of the dried tea leaf.

World’s Simplest (and slowest) Cold Brew Instructions:

Takes 8+ hours

  • Prepare a clean 1/2 gallon glass mason jar
  • Measure out your tea (between 10 – 22 grams depending on the tea)
  • Pour cold water over your tea leaves, filling the jar completely.
  • Let this rest in the refrigerator overnight,
  • Strain in the morning (usually ok to let it go longer)
  • Serve with ice, mix with other teas, have fun and enjoy!

Shaken Method

Takes a couple minutes!

To make iced tea “Shaken” you’ll want a cocktail shaker (or a small mason jar with lid).

For Iced Matcha (for Iced Matcha “Lattes”…just add milk):

  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add water (filtered is best…always!)
  • Add about 1/4 tsp of matcha powder per cup water
  • Add sweetener if you like, for our famous Maple Matcha, add maple syrup
  • Shake yo moneymaker and pour!

Iced Chai

  • Fill glass with ice (depends on shape, but use as much as you like)
  • Add chai concentrate (we premake ours with our chai blends, see recipes there, lasts about 1 week)
    • you can also use the hot steaping method above with our chai blends. It will just be less concentrated.
  • Add milk and sweet
  • Shake it like you just don’t care…and pour

Layering Iced Teas

At Stone Leaf, on usual summers, we are famous for our Marrakesh Mint (see photo above) because it is so strikingly beautiful AND delicious. Try layering iced teas in your own kitchen. All you need are two differently colored iced teas prepared by the cold or hot method, a glass, a small pitcher, and some ice. Start off by adding ice to your glass, then start with one of your differently colored teas. Use a small pitcher to SLOWLY pour the second differently colored tea over an ice cube. The ice acts as a buffer to creates a cool layered effect. Add fresh mint, basil, or simple syrup to spice it up!

Have you come up with some interesting or delicious iced teas? Post your ideas and photographs here to keep the inspiration going. For making it to the end of this blog, please enjoy a 20% discount on our Jiao Gu Lan herbal tea from China. When purchasing, simply include this coupon code VineTimeJiaoGuLan. Use it up quick, cause it expires on July 6th, 2020.

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