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Tea Leaves

Steep with me...

"Be with the tea"

What does that mean?

purposefully choosing a loose-leaf tea

choosing a mug/cup

heating the water

steeping the tea

enjoying the moment

Will you join me?

Herbal Tea Tasting

a private tea tasting

I was recently invited to present a tea tasting at the home of Marge LaFollette for the Gathering Basket Herb Society. What a wonderful group of women! We tasted 3 herbal teas and one black tea paired with scratch baked shortbread cookies. Afterwords the ladies enjoyed a carry-in lunch and browsed my traveling tea shop. I had a lovely time meeting everyone and am so grateful to my friends Laura Coburn, Paula Harper and Rita Seitz for inviting me to speak.

  • Adventures with Tea Group
Tea Time
Iced latte.png

This recipe is perfect for a Masala Chai Latte, a London Fog (Earl Grey) Latte or a Jamaican Spiced Latte.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Tablespoons Loose Leaf Tea

  • 1/2 Gallon Spring Water

  • 2/3 Cups Sugar

Equipment Needed:

Directions:

  1. Measure dry tea into strainer.

  2. Pour water into kettle & boil.

  3. Pour boiling water over tea.

  4. Steep for 5 minutes

  5. Remove tea leaves.

  6. Dissolve sugar in hot tea

  7. Allow sweetened tea to cool to room temperature.

  8. Cover tea and store in refrigerator up to 5 days.

To Serve Iced:

  1. Add ice to a tall drinking glass.

  2. Pour concentrated tea over ice.

  3. Add desired amount of cream or milk.

  4. Add whipped cream and spices as desired (optional).

To Serve Hot:

  1. Pour concentrated tea into microwave safe mug.

  2. Add the desired amount of cream or milk.

  3. Microwave until desired temperature is achieved.

  4. Add whipped cream and spices as desired (optional).

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Summer Teas

How to brew a delicious Iced Tea

Iced Teas

Nilgiri Iced Tea

Equipment:

  • Heat safe pitcher or carafe with lid

  • Large disposable or reusable infuser

  • Thermometer or temperature controlled electric kettle

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place dry tea leaves into a large sachet or infuser in a heat safe pitcher or carafe.

  2. Heat water to 200 degrees F

  3. Pour water over the tea leaves and steep for 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the leaves.

  5. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

  6. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.

  7. Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

  8. Serve over ice.

I've been an iced tea drinker for as long as I can remember. We had a giant Tupperware jug that I could barely handle. Every picnic, vacation, drive-in movie... we would brew 7 lipton tea bags in this jug and add 7 saccharin tablets then fill the rest of the container with ice and away we would go!

I still love iced tea, but I have learned to drink it black. And I have found the Nilgiri Iced Tea from India makes the most flavorful, clear, crisp iced tea on earth.  This region is on the side of the mountain where monsoon season offers the perfect amount of rain and the air is clean and cool in the mornings. I imagine these things when I brew a jug of this iced tea. When properly steeped, the liquor stays crisp and clear for as many as 5 days in the refrigerator (I usually can't let it set that long though).

I measure 6 heaping tablespoons of dry Nilgiri tea leaves into my tall infuser (you can also use a large ball infuser or a large disposable or reusable sachet). I bring 4 cups of fresh water to 200 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, you can use the ancient Chinese method of watching the water. The stage of 'String of Pearls' is when the bubbles rise rapidly to the surface as if they are on a string and is generally between 195-205 degrees F. This is the right range for brewing a black tea concentrate.

Pour the hot water over the tea leaves and steep for the longest measure of time listed for that tea (Nilgiri will steep for 5 minutes) then remove the leaves.  If you prefer sweet tea, now is the time to add sweetener. I add about 2/3 cup sugar to the 4 cup concentrate. But you do you!

Allow the concentrate to come to room temperature before refrigerating. I suggest storing in a clean glass container with a snug lid. This will keep your tea from absorbing unwanted flavors. Serve over ice with a fresh sprig of mint or lemon.

And there you have it; a lovely glass of refreshing iced tea for these hot summer days.

 

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