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iced tea, two ways

oolong iced tea green iced tea

Well it’s officially that time of year when it’s already so hot in the mornings that I’m sweating while drinking my morning tea (TMI?). I love the ritual of making a hot drink in the morning, the smell of earl grey tea (or occasionally, coffee) making my ears perk up, blinking away the sleepiness with each additional sip. But based on the temps outside, it’s time to say kudos to my usual morning tea and oatmeal and find a cooler summer routine.

The solution, at least to the first half of my breakfast equation, is iced tea. I’ve had a million combos racing through my mind lately, but in trying to keep things simple I narrowed it down to two, though I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with more as the summer heat progresses. My usual iced tea routine is pretty simple, so I stuck by my tried and true combo for the first iced tea: green tea, citrus, and herbs from our garden. For the second option, I searched for inspiration through my spice rack and wicker basket overflowing with little bags of loose leaf herbs. The oolong iced tea includes a really fragrant combination of flavours common in Middle Eastern desserts: saffron, cardamom, orange blossom, and honey. I love the rich aromas of this tea while it steeps.

I’ve left a bit of wiggle room for the amount of sugar in these teas because everyone’s preference is different. I don’t put any sugar in my hot tea, but I do enjoy a hint of sweetness in an iced tea, just not so much that I feel like I’m having a juice. I’d rather save my sugar intake for dessert 😉

iced oolong tea with cardamom and saffron    iced oolong tea with cardamom and saffron

iced oolong tea with cardamom and saffron

iced green tea with citrus and herbs

iced green tea with citrus and herbs

iced green tea with citrus and herbs

iced green tea with citrus and herbs

iced oolong tea with cardamom + saffron

makes 1 litre/32 oz/2-4 servings

4 cups just boiled water (195F / 91C)
2 bags oolong tea (or two teaspoons loose leaf)
1-3 tablespoons raw local honey
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
4 cardamom pods, pinched between your fingers to crush slightly
pinch saffron

Put the tea bags in a large jar/bowl and pour the water over, steep for 8 minutes. Remove the bags, add the remaining ingredients and stir to dissolve the honey. Put into the fridge overnight (about 12 hours), then strain the next day and serve cold.

iced green tea with lemon and mint

makes 1 litre/32 oz/2-4 servings

4 cups just boiled water (175F / 79C)
2 bags green tea (or two teaspoons loose leaf)
1-3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 inch piece of lemon zest
1 sprig mint, leaves removed
1 sprig lemon balm, leaves removed
sliced lemons

Put the tea bags and mint/lemon balm sprigs in a large jar/bowl and pour the water over, steep for 3-4 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and lemon juice then stir to dissolve. Place into the fridge to chill (or just add a bunch of ice). Once cold, remove the sprigs and zest, then serve with fresh mint and lemon balm leaves.

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