Blog Newsletter

Tea Infusiast News, No. 19

Welcome to the July 2024 edition of Tea Infusiast News–a newsletter for tea lovers to connect with and through tea. This is the 19th edition of the newsletter.

In this July 2024 Edition

To start off, I’m pleased to share my review of the NYBG Wonderland Exhibit and Afternoon Tea. (The exhibit runs through October 27, 2024.)

NYBG Wonderland Exhibit

In June, I joined members of my local botanic garden for a visit to a much bigger nearby garden–the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).

Traci Levy by New York Botanical Garden's (NYBG) "Wonderland" Curious Nature" sign. Traci is wearing green and purple glasses, a straw hat, and a pink shirt. Scenes from Alice and Wonderland are on the sign--the Mad Hatter, a teacup with a mouse in it, etc.

A guide led us through their their Wonderland: Curious Nature plant exhibit. Afterwards, we enjoyed an afternoon tea. The story of Alice in Wonderland inspired both.

The plant exhibit was beautiful and thoughtfully curated. You start the exhibit by walking through a Victorian garden–the world Alice belonged to before going through the rabbit hole. Then, you walk through a door representing the rabbit hole. Fantastic, almost otherworldly plants greet you on the other side. I particularly loved the Amazon lily pads and the spotted begonias. (You’ll see photos when you click to read more.)

Teaware Talk: Hario Cold Brew Tea Wine Bottle

You can use almost anything to make cold brewed tea at home. Glass is the obvious choice. I’ve often used glass jars and big Pyrex glass measuring cups, for example. (If making iced tea by heating the water, make sure the glass is heat-safe.)

If you find you are making cold brewed teas often, then I highly recommend the Hario Cold Brew Tea Wine Bottle. It’s easy to use, pour from, and clean. The bottom cylinder is glass and is recommended for up to 750ml of tea.

Hario Cold Brew Tea Wine Bottle with green top holding loose leaf black tea ready to steep. A  bouquet of flowers is nearby.

The Hario Cold Brew bottle has a silicone rubber top and a plastic filter. While the tea steeps (or rests) in your refrigerator, the liquid only touches the glass. Of course, to pour it out to drink, the tea slides past the silicone and filter.

Good news! If you lose the filter, you can reorder that part from Hario. (Ask me how I know…lol!) The filter is great because it keeps the tea leaves out of your glass when you pour it.

Iced Tea Tips to Beat July’s Heat

Different Methods to Make Iced Tea

There are many ways to make iced tea! Among them:

  • steep as usual and chill in the refrigerator
  • flash brew (steep a concentrate and then flash chill by adding lots of ice)
  • cold brew (steep in room temperature or cold water anywhere from 5 minutes on the counter to 12 hours in the refrigerator, depending on tea type and preference)
  • ice steep (put tea leaves–particularly Japanese green teas–over ice and let the leaves steep from the melting ice and or some combination of water and ice)
Iced green tea pouring from a green Hario Cold Brew Tea Wine Bottle into a couple glass. Sunlight shining through the glass makes a starburst pattern on the table.

Sparking iced tea–either made by making a tea concentrate and adding seltzer, or cold steeping in seltzer–can also be delicious and refreshing. Note: if you are infusing directly in the seltzer instead of using the concentrate method, the infusion generally takes longer than cold brewing in regular water. (Details at the hyperlinked post!)

Tasty Things to Add to Your Iced Tea

Add a sprig of fresh herbs to your iced tea! Although mint is classic, why not try rosemary or lemon balm? I might try a sprig of thyme when I next steep an herbaceous white tea. Also, you can toss in a few roses or rosebuds if you have any food-grade roses that are suitable for steeping. A slice of fresh ginger can be refreshing and add a little kick to your iced tea.

Pouring cream into a glass of dark amber iced tea (black). Nearby is a pothos plant and a pink peony.

You surely already know about adding lemon slices. The recipes and my exchanges with Soo Park of Soocha Tea introduced me to adding a slice of lime or Asian pear to Korean green teas–why not try one of these for other green teas?

I also love making a very hearty, malty black tea (using something like an East Frisian blend or an Assam) or a roasted oolong. Make it, chill it, then add either thick milk or cream. Delicious and with a fun texture, too.

There’s always fresh fruit, too!

What’s your favorite thing to add to iced tea? Let us know in the comments!

Secret Iced Tea Tip

Nicole McKinney of @teaonthetrail posted recently about enjoying iced tea in tea cups. I drink my iced tea this way a lot, too! It reminded me that I don’t think I’ve ever shared why I often do this in the summer (besides loving teacups).

There’s another advantage to serving iced tea in a teacup with a saucer: to avoid condensation making rings on your table and dripping in your lap on a hot day. Condensation dilemma solved! And, it feels like living your best life!

ICYMI on the Blog

In case you missed it! I published several posts on the blog since my last newsletter.

4 replies on “Tea Infusiast News, No. 19”

Iced/cold tea is definitely on my mind every day in the summer heat and humidity. It seems all of us are brewing to beat the Heat! I’ve considered a glass coldbrew bottle for larger quantity at once. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Thanks for sharing, La’Shell! I heartily recommend a cold brew bottle if you prepare that way a lot. Otherwise, my large Pyrex glass measuring cup also works…and then I just use a tea strainer to keep the leaves out of my glass.

Thank you so much, Jasmine, for taking the time to read the newsletter AND to share your kind words. It means a lot!

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