6 ways to upgrade your homemade iced tea game, told by the experts
Okay, so your iced tea consumption throughout the hot and sticky days of summer is off the charts and you’ve got your own homemade recipe, but you’re looking to take it to another level, which has led to you landing here. Well, let’s get this Iced Par-tea started! (we apologise, we couldn’t help ourselves)
We’ve asked our tea pro (yes, that’s a job), Arne Stühmer, to share some of his hacks that will help you create your own original iced tea recipe that you’ll be proud to have living in your fridge.
Before we jump into the tips on making incredible iced tea, here are three recipes that tea pro Stühmer has concocted himself that you can add to your repertoire.
Hacks on how to come up with your own unique iced tea recipe
1. Balance is the core ingredient
You need to reach a certain harmony when combining the ingredients of your iced tea.
It’s important not to forget that many teas are particularly fragile when it comes to flavours and can easily become lost when mixed with other strong components.
So, go for subtle flavours when considering what ingredients you should add to your tea-infused drink of summer 2021.
2. Instead of hot brew - cold serve, prepare your tea as a cold brew
But why not try cold brew which usually brings a sweeter, more balanced and intensive taste? We would only recommend doing this with classic teas (eg. black, green, oolong, etc.), but this method is an alternative way to prep’ your tea before it embarks on its wild ride with the other ingredients.
Similar to how you prepare a cold brew coffee, you should use a larger portion of tea, infuse it with cold water and store it in the fridge overnight.
3. Taste it before you sweeten it
A lot of iced tea drinkers are looking for that sugary, sweet kick, however, don’t forget that many tea compositions already come with a certain amount of natural sweetness.
Be sure to taste the iced tea before adding any sugar or syrups as it may already satisfy your sweet tooth. And remember: if you want to use sugar (no matter if it is white, brown or cane sugar) it does not dissolve completely when the tea is already cold. That’s why using syrups is easier in this case (or try adding sugar when the tea is still hot).
If it does need a little more sweetness, consider using stevia-based sweeteners or honey instead of adding sugar.
4. Experiment with herbs, and spices
As there are so many assortments of teas to work with, the number of different flavour bombs you can produce in iced tea is endless.
You should really feel free to put on your mad scien-tea-st lab coat (ok, we apologise again) and try adding combinations of herbs and spices (e.g. mint leaves, rosemary, basil, cinnamon, cardamom, thyme, etc.) or also fresh juices and spirits.
5. Make your iced tea Instagrammable with some fresh fruit tea
Like most things in life, making your iced tea look good with some bold colours will lead to enhanced enjoyment. After all, we don’t just drink and eat with our mouths – our other senses also play a part.
Otherwise, for a more subtle dressing up of your tea, turmeric cinnamon, black tea, and rooibos will offer a nice golden-yellow-brownish colour.
6. Make an intense brew
Making a strong, concentrated brew of tea will ensure that you’ll keep the character of the tea coming out in your final creation.
Be sure to use more tea than you normally would when making a hot tea, and infuse for a bit longer, so you end up with a gloriously flavoursome concentrated brew.