Keep Cool with these 5 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes
If you're looking to put a unique spin on a refreshing summertime drink that is good enough to be enjoyed all year long, then try out these iced tea recipes. Use different types of tea to add any one of these delicious recipes to your beverage menu and let your customers enjoy a vacation in a glass!
The Best Way to Make Tea
Have you ever wondered what goes into the perfect cup of tea? It’s not sugar and milk, but rather a knowledge about minerals, temperatures, and time, although sugar and sweeteners certainly never hurt. Whether you own a cafe or are simply hoping to become a tea connoisseur, you can refer to the infographic below as a quick and easy guide to tea brewing. For a more detailed breakdown of how to brew the best cup of tea, read on to learn more. Shop All Tea The Best Water for Making Tea Water is obviously a key ingredient to any cup of tea, but not all water is equal. If you’re using tap water, make sure it’s fresh and cold. You’ll want to avoid tap water that’s been sitting in your kettle for any length of time or that’s been previously boiled. The reason you should use cold water from the tap (as opposed to warm or hot water) is that hot tap water tends to carry more minerals, like calcium and lime, that will affect the flavor of your tea. Spring water is preferable to distilled water because it contains just the right amount and type of minerals that will bring out the best flavors. Tea Brewing Methods There are so many different ways to brew tea, and many of them simply come down to personal preference. If you’re going with a loose leaf tea, there are several equipment options to choose from. Steeping with a Tea Ball Infuser These unique infusers are basically meshed spheres with a hinge, which allows you to fill them with loose tea and then clasp them shut. Tea ball infusers work essentially the same way as tea bags, in that you dip them into hot water, and then pull them out when it’s fully steeped. The advantage of using these handy little devices is that they can be used again and again, where tea bags must be thrown away. Another advantage is that you can mix your own blends of different tea varieties to create a signature blend for your restaurant or cafe. Making Tea in a French Press You may be familiar with a French press for brewing coffee, but you may not realize that you can use a French press to make tea. One advantage of using a French press to make tea is that you can brew several cups at once. Another advantage of this tool is that you can steep and serve in the same vessel. One of the drawbacks, however, is that you run the risk of over-steeping your tea because the leaves are not removed after brewing, but simply sit at the bottom of the press. Tea Brewing Strainers Tea strainers sit over your cup and hold loose leaf tea in a small mesh basket. Tea is made by pouring hot water on top of the leaves, allowing it to pass over them and flow through the mesh of the strainer. The strainer is then removed from the top of the cup before serving. This technique is not very popular and doesn’t give you much control over the length of your brewing time, but if you’re looking to give your customers an elegant and interactive tea experience, this is a good option. Using a Paper Sachet to Brew Tea You can purchase ready-made paper pouches for brewing loose leaf tea, or make your own from a coffee filter or other similar food-safe paper. This option is convenient when easy cleanup is a priority because paper teabags are disposable, which will save you time during cleanup. Making Tea in a Teapot If you’re not interested in any of the aforementioned contraptions for brewing your tea, a good old teapot is always a great choice. But, as with many aspects of the brewing process, not all teapots will deliver the same results. Many teapots have built-in strainers that assist in the infusion process, but others will require the use of a separate straining device. Another major factor to consider is how the material of your teapot retains heat and what tea brewing temperature is ideal for your type of tea (which we’ll get into a little later). Iron - Teapots made of iron are common for serving Asian-style green teas, but keep in mind that iron retains heat for a long time, making it a better option for teas that need to be brewed at a higher temperature, such as black tea. Glass - Glass teapots not only beautifully showcase the color of your tea but also retain heat well. This means they will deliver the ideal green tea temperature and are great for white tea, as well. Factors that Impact Tea Flavor As with any culinary endeavor, several factors will affect the flavor of your product. Knowing the way in which each of these factors impacts your tea will help you come up with a brewing system that works best for you. Tea Brewing Temperature A common mistake when brewing tea is to let the water come to a rolling boil. The state of boiling releases oxygen from the water, which prevents your tea from reaching its fullest flavor potential. Different types of tea also taste best when steeped at different temperatures. For example, green tea temperature should be different from black tea. The temperatures in the table below are shown in Fahrenheit. Tea Type Ideal Tea Steeping Temp. White Tea 175 F Green Tea 175 F Oolong 195 F Black Tea 195-205 F Mate 208 F Rooibos 208 F Other Herbal 208 F As you can see, many types of tea taste best when brewed just before the water reaches its boiling point (of 212 degrees Fahrenheit). Even if your water has reached a boil and cools down to the ideal temperature, it still will have released oxygen, so it’s best to start over with new water at that point. Tea Steep Time Determining the brew times for tea can be tricky because times can vary widely depending on the type of tea you’re using. On top of that, there are subtle flavors that will emerge as your tea steeps, and many people have different preferences as to which of those flavors is most appealing to them. So, even though there may be a broad guideline for each general variety of tea, it’s suggested that you test out any tea that is new to you and taste it every 30 seconds as it steeps to find the flavor that is best for you. Taking the time to explore these flavor developments will also give you valuable knowledge that you can use while describing each tea to your customers. Explaining the nuances of your teas will impress customers and can help them decide which teas they’d like to try. Amount of Loose Tea Leaves Many people think that the longer you brew your tea, the stronger it will be, but the truth is that extending your steeping time will only bring out bitter flavors. If you want your tea to taste stronger, add more tea leaves. The basic rule of thumb for tea proportions is to use 2 grams of tea for every 8oz of water (more if it's a fluffy variety, like chamomile.) How to Brew the Best Iced Tea You can use the same tea leaves that you would use for hot tea to make delicious iced tea. There are a few different ways you can brew iced tea, but regardless of which method you choose, you should always double the number of tea leaves that you would use for a hot cup to ensure a robust and flavorful iced drink. As for iced tea-making techniques, the three most common include: Hot brew - This is likely the most common technique for brewing iced tea, and it basically entails creating a concentrated batch of hot tea that you then pour over ice and refrigerate. When using a hot brew method, you should add your sugar or honey while the tea is still hot so that it dissolves more completely. Cold brew - This method does not entail heating at any point in the process, but rather relies on time to draw flavors out of your tea leaves. Simply place your chosen infusing device in a container of cold water and let it sit in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. As for sweeteners, agave or simple syrup are a good choice for a cold brew, since they dissolve more easily than regular granulated sugar. Sun brew - You may have heard of “sun tea.” This technique is pretty much as simple as it sounds. Just place your tea bag or tea ball in a translucent container of cold water and set it in the sun for a few hours. You can finish your sun tea with fruit juice for a concoction that is entirely your own. Tea Brewing FAQs How can I avoid tea leaves settling at the bottom of my cup? The truthful answer to this question is that if you’re using loose leaf tea, there is no surefire way to prevent some straggler leaves from escaping. The best thing to do about this problem is to simply change your attitude about those pesky little leaves and instead embrace them. The art of tea leaf reading is a magical tradition in many cultures. And in most tea-drinking cultures around the world, it’s customary to leave a centimeter or two of liquid at the bottom of your cup because that’s where the leaves stay, and that’s okay! Can I make tea in the microwave? Making tea in the microwave is not recommended because the sharp increase in the temperature of your water impacts the flavor and can cause bitterness.Can I use the same tea leaves more than once? Yes. Most kinds of tea stand up well to multiple steepings. The flavor and caffeine won’t be as strong, but as long as it’s not over-steeped or brewed at too high a temperature, you shouldn’t have to worry about bitterness. As you can see, there’s more that goes into the perfect cup of tea than meets the eye. Also, the more you know about your different varieties of tea, the more prepared you’ll be for answering any questions customers may have. So, next time you go to brew a cup of tea, keep in mind these simple tricks that will enhance the natural flavors of your tea and help you get the most enjoyment out of your hot beverage. To find other great information about the difference between types of tea, be sure to check out our buying guide.
What Is a Tea Bar?
While tea is often on the menu at coffee shops, a new type of establishment is emerging that makes tea the focus. Tea bars have started popping up in urban areas, and their popularity is causing a growth of modern shops that are dedicated to tea service. Below, learn more about what tea bars do, how they differ from traditional tea houses, and why they're becoming so popular. Shop All Tea What Are Tea Bars? Tea bars are similar to coffee shops, but these trendy establishments make tea the spotlight of their menus. Some tea bars transition from day to night by becoming sober bars serving tea-centric cocktails in the evening. This bar trend brings a new wave of flavors for bartenders to experiment with. A tea bar may also have a tea sommelier, or tea expert, who offers customers information on how to enjoy their chosen variety and how to pair it with food items on the bar’s menu. Tea Bar vs. Tea House While tea-forward establishments have previously been seen with tea houses, tea bars tend to have a different aesthetic and purpose. Victorian-style tea houses are ideal for customers who want to experience a traditional tea service, while tea bars offer a contemporary alternative to coffee houses. The customer base of a tea bar may look demographically different than a tea house as well. Tea houses generally have an upscale, formal atmosphere, which contrasts with the casual and relaxed environment found in most tea bars. As a result, tea bar patrons may be a generally younger crowd. Why Tea Bars Are Growing in Popularity There are a few main reasons that tea bars are quickly becoming more common. The Health Benefits of Tea With health and wellness foods trending, tea is showing up on more and more establishments’ menus. Many types of tea can contribute to your wellness, including varieties with digestive benefits, stress-relieving properties, or energy boosts. As a result, tea bars can serve as havens for health-conscious patrons. Comfortable Environments Often featuring cozy interior design and plenty of space to sit and relax while you finish a pot of tea, tea bars are also a great answer to the rising popularity of the Danish concept hygge, or the idea that contentment comes from comfort and quality time spent with loved ones. Decor Worthy of Sharing Plush seating, natural light, and rustic or minimalist decor may also contribute to an aesthetic that customers are eager to experience and share on social media. Where You Can Find Tea Bars For now, tea bars are mostly found in cities or other busy areas with high populations of young adults. Their similarity to coffee shops appeals to on-the-go professionals, while their comfortable space can accommodate remote workers or groups of friends looking for a meeting place. As their popularity grows and cities become saturated with tea bar options, these establishments are likely to begin appearing in suburban areas as well. The tea bar is carving its own space in the world of beverage service establishments. Some tea bars offer a place for busy professionals to grab a cup before work, while others are pioneering tea-forward cocktails to be enjoyed at night. Overall, this trend offers tea drinkers a contemporary space to enjoy a pot of their preferred drink.
What Is Butterfly Pea Tea?
Butterfly pea tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea made from Clitoria ternatea, a plant species native to Southeastern Asia. This type of tea is most famous for its vibrant colors, as the tea has a strong blue hue after being steeped in water. Lemon juice and other acidic elements can be added to butterfly pea tea to alter the drink's pH levels, further changing the tea’s color to violet. Butterfly pea tea has been gaining popularity around the world in recent years as one of the top tea trends, making it a great menu addition for your coffee shop or restaurant. Below, we’ll cover how you can make butterfly pea tea and some of the best ways you can integrate the trend into your menu. Shop All Butterfly Pea Tea and Powder Use these links to learn more about butterfly pea flower tea: How to Make Butterfly Pea Tea How to Make Butterfly Pea Tea Video Butterfly Pea Tea Benefits What Does Butterfly Pea Tea Taste Like? Butterfly Pea Tea FAQ How to Make Butterfly Pea Tea Making butterfly pea tea is simple, which makes the drink an easy addition to your menu. Although different ingredients can be added to the beverage, creating the base drink is no different than making any other herbal tea. To make butterfly pea tea, follow the steps below: Place dried leaves in a tea infuser, resting the tea infuser in a teapot or teacup. Heat a cup of water to around 212 degrees Fahrenheit before pouring the water over your infuser. Let the tea steep for at least five minutes. You can extend the time for a few minutes if you’re looking for extremely vibrant colors and a strong taste. Remove the tea infuser and serve. How to Make Butterfly Pea Tea Video To learn how to properly make butterfly pea tea, watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on the process: <iframe itemprop="embedURL" width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1whKNhUO7JM?si=vY_0svKMvjTOk1A3" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> Butterfly Pea Tea Benefits Butterfly pea tea is much more than a niche drink that changes colors, as it has a lot of health benefits to pair with its unique look. As such, butterfly pea tea can be promoted to customers as a healthy alternative when introduced to your menu. Here are some of the most common health benefits butterfly pea tea has to offer: Boosts Immune System - Many antioxidants can be found in butterfly pea tea. These antioxidants boost your immune system, helping you fight off colds and other illnesses. Augments Brain Activity - Butterfly pea tea is known to contain acetylcholine, a molecule that is key in memory retention and concentration. Improves Eye Health - Proanthocyadin, a flavonoid associated with improved eye health, can be found in butterfly pea tea. Butterfly Pea Tea Side Effects Butterfly pea tea is considered safe to consume in moderation and is more well-known for its health benefits rather than its side effects. There are anecdotal reports of minor side effects like stomach pain and nausea, but no claims have been backed by scientific research. The drink is considered a healthy beverage with lots of positive immune-boosting benefits, making it a great drink to include in diets. What Does Butterfly Pea Tea Taste Like? Butterfly pea tea has a mild and earthy taste, similar to green tea. For those who find green tea’s flavor profile too strong, butterfly pea tea can serve as a milder substitute. The taste of butterfly pea tea is often altered with lemon juice or honey to change its color from blue to violet, adding some extra flavor to the drink. Butterfly pea tea can also be mixed with other drinks such as matcha, lemonade, and alcoholic beverages, creating entirely new flavor profiles and combinations. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Cocktail As butterfly pea tea continues to trend, its use in cocktails is constantly evolving. Butterfly pea tea allows bartenders to get creative when coming up with new drinks, as wildly different color combinations can be made depending on what mixers are added. For bartenders looking to create trendy new cocktails with vibrant natural colors, butterfly pea tea is a fantastic option. The tea is also great for making mocktails, combining with several other ingredients to create striking non-alcoholic beverages that resemble real cocktails. Butterfly Pea Tea FAQ Below we cover some of the most common questions regarding butterfly pea tea: Why Does Butterfly Pea Tea Change Color? Butterfly pea tea is made from the Clitoria ternatea plant, getting its strong natural blue coloring from the plant's blue leaves. These leaves contain anthocyanin, an acid-base indicator that changes color in response to changes in pH levels. When acidic elements like lemon juice are mixed with butterfly pea tea, the drink's pH alters and the tea's color changes. Does Butterfly Pea Tea Have Caffeine? Butterfly pea tea is a caffeine-free beverage, making it a great decaf addition to any menu. Caffeine-free diets are already a popular consumer trend, and many others are looking to reduce their caffeine consumption. Adding butterfly pea tea to your establishment’s menu can be a great way to cater to these customers, giving them more decaf options to choose from. Whether you’re just starting a tea bar or are looking to expand your menu, butterfly pea tea can be a great addition to your beverage list. The trendy drink’s vibrant colors and great taste are sure to appeal to customers and boost sales. Butterfly pea tea’s health benefits and lack of caffeine position the drink as a great alternative to coffee and other caffeinated beverages. You can also get creative with butterfly pea tea, integrating the drink into your menu in a way that best appeals to your customer base.