How to make the perfect iced tea.

 
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Summer is finally here. The grass is green, the garden is overflowing, the sun is shining, and I have officially swapped out my morning cup of steaming hot earl grey tea for a refreshing glass of jasmine green iced tea.

BEFORE WE GO OVER THE PROCESS OF HOW TO BREW THE SMOOTHEST, MOST DELICIOUS, GREEN TEA YOU'LL EVER DRINK, HERE'S WHY I ALWAYS START MY MORNING WITH A CUP OF THE GREEN STUFF.

Every food has thermodynamic properties. This is different than the physical temperature of food (a steak hot off the grill, ice cream straight out of the freezer). The thermodynamic property is the heating or cooling property of food once you've eaten it.  For example, if you take a bite out of a raw jalapeño pepper you will most likely start to feel warm and might even break a sweat. Even if that pepper came out of the fridge and was cold to the touch, it still created heat within the body because it is thermodynamically warm.

Black tea is thermodynamically warming and I usually start my day with it in the winter, but once the mercury goes above 70 I like to switch to green tea because it is thermodynamically cooler.  But my reasons for drinking green tea in the morning go further than that.

POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEN TEA:

  • Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which is one of the most researched and powerful antioxidants and often toted for its possible positive contribution to weight loss.
  • According to the National Cancer Institute, the natural chemicals in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation.
  • Studies have found green tea to be helpful in preventing dental cavities, stress, chronic fatigue, treating skin conditions and improving arthritis by reducing inflammation.

The list goes on and on. So now that I've convinced you to start drinking more of this golden elixir, let's talk about how to make the perfect cup of it.

The trick to making the perfect cup of green tea is to limit the amount of tannins that are released in the brewing process. What are tannins? They are a type of plant molecule that is bitter and very astringent. Therefore limiting the amount of tannins released during brewing will decrease that bitter taste that so often keeps people from enjoying green tea. The best way to inhibit tannins during the brewing process is to use cooler water for shorter periods of time.

"THE BEST GREEN TEA YOU'LL EVER DRINK" RECIPE

Ingredients:
1Tbsp of high quality loose leaf green tea
32 oz filtered water

Instructions:
Mix the loose tea leaves and filtered water in a quart sized mason jar and cover with a lid. Place in the refrigerator or cool area of the kitchen. Let steep anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on your taste preference. Strain out tea leaves, serve, and enjoy!

THIS COLD-BREW PROCESS IS GREAT FOR SEVERAL REASONS:

  • The tea never turns out bitter. You never have to worry about over-steeping the tea. The flavor will be more potent the longer you let it steep, but I've let it steep for up to 24 hours before and it has never turned out bitter.
  • You can prepare large quantities in advance for parties or just keep a quart of it in your fridge at all times during hot summer months.
  • It is perfect for any tea where you want to taste subtle flavors. My favorite tea to cold-brew is a jasmine loose leaf green tea I bought when I visited China last year. The delicate flavor of the jasmine flowers are neither lost nor overpowering when I use this method.

 

So next time you're lounging in your backyard on a hot and sunny day, don't forget to cool down with a glass of the good stuff.

References:

  1. "Green Tea" The World’s Healthiest Foods, The George Matejlin Foundation. Accessed November 28th 2013.
  2. "Green Tea" Nutrition 411. Accessed November 28th 2013.
  3. "Green Tea" University of Maryland Medical Center. Last Reviewed on 10/14/2011. Accessed November 29th.

**The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

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