Fresh Vanilla Mint Iced Tea

Why hello there tea friends. I have an iced tea recipe for you today.

First, I want to stress how easy it is to make iced tea at home and what a great alternative it is to Slurpies, soda pops and Arizonas.  Any of your teas at home can be made into an iced tea.  Whatever flavour you’re in the mood for, simply double steep the tea you want to drink and pour it over ice and voila! Iced tea!

However, there are many other ways to infuse iced tea at home. I like to get a little creative every time and try something different.  Recently I have been brewing chaga mushroom tea and chilling it in the refrigerator.  After some chill time, a couple of hours or so, the chaga will be cool enough to pour over a glass of ice and enjoyed as a refreshingly earthy beverage on a hot summer day.  The chilled chaga can also be added to any of your iced tea blends, adding an earthy, full-bodied, almost vanilla-y taste to your tea.

I am still discovering places in Toronto to purchase chaga, but I found a small little shop where I can get chaga finely ground or in chunks by the pound.  House of Energy is located in Kensington Market and has everything from loose tea, crystals, handmade jewellery to mushrooms.  If you’re curious to know more about this magical mushroom, stop by House of Energy and the ladies there will let you in on the secrets of chaga.

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And finally, here is an iced tea recipe I created on the fly one afternoon while cooling down from a mid-day cooking extravaganza.

1 cup of steeped Vanilla Orchid and Spearmint tea (use about a teaspoon of tea to steep each)

a few fresh mint leaves from the garden

1 cup of chilled steeped chaga mushroom

1/2 teaspoon of agave (optional for those sweet teeth out there)

So I steeped the Vanilla Orchid with Spearmint, poured it over iced and added the mint and chilled chaga altogether in a glass.  Cool down with this fresh vanilla chaga mint iced tea (that was a mouthful), it will be the healthiest thing you do that day!

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Pink Flamingo Iced Tea

Quick! Stock up on the summer teas because it won’t be much longer until fruity iced teas go into hiding!  Well you can always seek them out of course, but fall is coming and those pumpkin-inspired toasty teas are reading to fall into your lap.  Ha-ha did you get my pun there?

Iced teas are easier to make from loose leaf tea than you may think and they taste delicious.  I find that most people think iced tea can be really watery, but in fact most people are probably used to high sugar drinks that are super sweet and have loads of sugar in them.  So do not expect a sweet sweet drink when you make an iced tea from loose leaf tea and anyway you’re probably already sweet enough if you’re reading this blog;)  However, if you do want that extra sweetness you can always add some honey or agave.

One of my favourite iced teas in the summertime is Pink Flamingo tea!

I must say Pink Flamingos are pretty awesome especially because they can stand on their one leg for so long.  They definitely have those yoga skills I’m working towards…downward dog, swan dive and pink flamingo!  Okay I made the pink flamingo pose up, but you totally want to try that pose now don’t you?  It would probably look something like this guy…

and breathe, and hold for two more breaths…

Anyway, this pink flamingo tea is, I hope you’ve already guessed…PINK!  And what makes tea pink?  In this case it is the hibiscus flower and beetroot in the tea that creates this lovely pink colour when you steep it.  You can drink this tea iced or hot, but on a nice summers day this tea is perfect when it is iced in a tall glass with a little umbrella in it.  Apple, carrot, eucalyptus and orange peel are just a few more of the other ingredients that make up this delicious tea.  For the longest time I was convinced I tasted grapefruit, the combination of these different ingredients creates a unique taste that keeps you wanting more.  The citrus flavour balances out the other ingredients and gives you the right amount of zing you’ll need when sitting under that hot hot sun!  Or make yourself a little drink after yoga, get creative and add a little splash of white wine!
How to make Iced Tea:

First, Use double the amount you would normally use for any loose leaf tea and either (a) use a magic steeper to steep your tea or (b) a stainless steel mesh ball/cup.  After the tea has steeped for a few minutes, in Pink Flamingo’s case 4-7 minutes, you can add some ice and VOILA you have iced tea! In the magic steeper’s case, there is more room for flavours to swim around and you can just pour over a glass full of ice.  Make sure you add a hearty handful of ice because the tea has to go from being super hot to cold quickly.  Since you need to add ice when the tea has been steeped, it is important that you add double the amount of tea so you can get optimal flavour in your cup.  Too watery? Add more tea when steeping next time and if you need that extra little bit of sweetness pour some of that honey/agave in your cup and you’re good to go!

Also, check out my Tea Time board on Pinterest, just click the picture and it will bring you to my board.

Inspired by Pink Flamingo tea, which you can purchase at DavidsTea.

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