Sunday, July 21, 2019

Citrus Mint Iced Tea

Two Glasses of Tea Garnished with Lemon and Mint
Iced Tea for Two

Recipe adapted from The Tea Companion

It’s summer and it’s hot! Temperatures are sizzling throughout the US. Even the weather map looks sunburned, all zones pink to dark red, with no blue, green, or even yellow zones in sight. Pretty much the same story throughout the northern hemisphere. We need to chill out, even as we brainstorm solutions to global warming. A tall glass of orange-lemon, minty tea with a caffeine lift couldn’t hurt. I adapted the recipe from The Tea Companion, a classic guide to different teas from around the world, as well as clear, succinct descriptions of how different teas are grown and processed. The Companion also demonstrates how to make great tea. 

Mason jar of tea, glass with ice, and mint
Easy to Store in 1-Quart Mason Jar
I powered up the recipe with extra tea, since serving it over ice dilutes it. Also, maximum tea flavor plays better with the prominent citrus flavor. The Tea Companion recommends Ceylon tea for this recipe, which used to be quite easy to find locally, but has declined in popularity with the rise of green teas and simpler black teas. However, its distinctive and robust flavor is worth rediscovering. Some of us will remember this flavor from the 1980s and before. Alghazaleen tea is the real thing, straight from Sri Lanka. It stands up to ice and when served hot adds a robust and flavorful treat to your day—along with a shot of caffeine.

Want to cool down and power up? Check this tea out. For immediate gratification, double the recipe and store extra in the fridge in a 2-quart covered pitcher. Pour out glasses over fresh mint and ice cubes as needed for antidote to those summer scorchers.

Glass of iced tea garnished with lemon and mint
Glass of Refreshment
Citrus Mint Iced Tea
makes 1 quart

3 large stems fresh mint
2 medium lemons
1 large orange
4 tsp. Ceylon tea
3 cups boiling water
1/4 – ½ tsp. grated ginger root
2 – 4 tsp. agave or other sweetener
Mint for garnish
Lemon slices for garnish

Press mint into the bottom of 1-quart Mason jar or other sealable glass container, using a muddler.

Juice the oranges and lemons. Strain and pour fruit juices into the Mason jar. Muddle the mint with the juices until it’s thoroughly crushed.

Brew the tea in a pot, using the rule: 1 rounded tsp. per cup water plus 1 for the pot rule. In other words, add 4 rounded tsp. Ceylon tea to the pot. Add 3 cups boiling water. Stir in grated ginger. Steep as directed on tea box, plus one minute.

Pour out 2 cups tea through a strainer. Add to Mason jar. Remove and squeeze out mint leaves, returning the minty liquid to the jar.

Stir in agave or other sweetener.

Fill up Mason jar with additional strained tea. If you prefer weaker tea flavor, you can substitute plain water for this step.

Chill at least 1 hour. Serve with plenty of ice. Garnish with mint and lemon or orange slices. 

Teapot, Muddled Mint in Mason Jar, Squeezed citrus and grated ginger
Mint Muddlin'

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