It’s been 5 days since our ice tea masterclass with T2 in Oxford but I’m still buzzing with excitement and I want to share what I learnt with you! So, if you find yourself feeling a bit hot this summer and you want a drink that is not full of nasties, yet delicious and refreshing, read on.
In all honesty, it was not my first time making ice tea so I had some understanding of the basics but I enjoyed the class and got some new tips along the way.
What you need to make ice tea
You don’t really need much equipment other than what you already have.
- A teapot to make the tea
- A lot of ice which you either buy or make at home in trays or bags
- A container (or several) that can fit the volume of ice and the tea you made
- A teaspoon to measure the tea with
- Your favourite fruity blend (I’ll explain why)
T2 make these really cute and colourful jugs, called Jug-a-lot, especially made for ice tea which we used during the course.
We fell in love with them so we bought one for home. The great thing about them is that they are made from a special plastic to handle the heat of boiling tea and the coolness of ice tea and they come with a very long infuser so they effectively act as both #1 and #3 on the list of equipment. And they fit the fridge door! But there are ways around it if you don’t want to invest in one upfront.
Make the tea as you normally would, but double the quantity of tea used. The reason for this is that after the tea has brewed, you just pour it over the ice and voila! You have ice tea. Because those ice cubes melt and dilute the infusion, it’s important to make it doubly strong to begin with. If you need more guidance, watch the video below.
The type of tea that works well with ice tea
The reason I said you need a fruity blend is that two things happen when you switch your regular brew to a cold one. First, tannins (present in teas like green, black, white, etc.) are stronger. A bit like when you forget about a cup of tea and then you go to have a sip and it’s bitter. Yep, we’ve all done that!
The second thing is that when we have something that is very very cold, whether it’s a drink or even food, we don’t have the same perception of sweetness. If you can manage the temptation, leave your favourite ice cream in a bowl to melt until it’s at room temperature. Then taste it and you’ll find it’s sickly sweet!
The same happens when you make ice tea, you need to gear up the sweetness for it to taste nice. So a fruity blend works really or if you’d like some caffeine from real tea, be prepared to add honey or sugar.
What we made in our class in T2 Oxford
To start with, our lovely trainer had already made some Strawberries & Cream. I had already tried this blend as I have it at home as an ice tea and I must say it’s DIVINE! It tastes just like the real thing but in a tea format.
Then each couple (we were all paired in twos) chose a blend to make. We went for Packs a Peach. We steeped the tea directly in the Jug-a-lot and left it for about ten minutes. One useful tip I learned is that if you want the tea to be stronger, you can actually just leave fruity teas overnight in the fridge as they don’t run the risk of being bitter. Meanwhile, we also made a pomegranate blend in a smaller batch to try the taste and just instantly cooled it over ice.
By the time our trainer shared some of the best teas for ice tea and answered all our questions, our brews were ready to be poured over ice. And Packs a Peach really did pack some flavour. I’ll review it in a future post for you!
We tried each other’s blends and many ice tea cups later, we were handed some freebies in the form of a taster tin with tea, a sachet of the blend we had made, a discount voucher and a measuring scoop which was a lovely surprise as the class was completely free. T2 really know how to treat you! So of course we did some shopping, including our pink Jug-a-lot which we’re using almost every day now and you can see in the picture above 😁
Have you tried making ice tea? Let me know in a comment or you can find me @whiteduckling on Twitter and Instagram.
Thanks for reading,