Frozen Tea for the Fourth!

IMG_2124 It’s the Fourth of July and time for all kinds of warm weather fun! And here in California, it has been hot, the kind of weather that sends you panting after the air conditioning wherever you can find it! We’ve been staying cool with these creative ways of freezing tea. Our Compassion Tea flavors work well for any of these recipes. Play around and enjoy!

First, brew your chosen tea at double strength by using twice the leaves you’d normally use.  Strain your tea leaves.  Then, add plenty of sweetener! Honey, agave, and regular sugar all work well. Freezing causes the loss of sweetness in the flavor. You can also add flavor by adding in ingredients like lemon juice, mango nectar, finely chopped mint leaves, puréed strawberries or almond paste. Stir it in very well.

For Tea Popsicles: Pour your tea into popsicle molds and place them in the freezer.  To help keep the sweetener and other ingredients from concentrating in the tips of the popsicles, stir the mixture every hour or so until completely frozen. Tea popsicles taste the best when enjoyed within one week of freezing. We recommend brewing our Coconut Oolong and flavoring with a can of pineapple using the juice as a sweetener. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach even if you aren’t!

For Tea Granita: Pour the tea mixture into a shallow, heat- and freezer-safe dish. Place it flat in the freezer.  IMG_2112Once ice crystals begin forming across the top, approximately 45 mintues, scrape a fork through the ice to from fine crystals.  Return to freezer. Repeat this process every 30 minutes, until the mixture is thoroughly frozen, and once again immediately before serving.  Serve your granita in small bowls or wide glasses, and garnish with mint or a slice of fruit for more color. Your tea granita will keep covered in the freezer for about a week. We have used Peach Apricot (black), Black Currant (black), and Provence (Rooibos) for our granitas and have added fresh blueberries, watermelon chunks, and slices of apricot to it before we froze it. The granita is a definite hit after an afternoon in the pool!IMG_2117

Tea Ice Cubes: Tired of that watered down flavor you get when you dilute your iced tea with ice cubes? Why not make your ice cubes from the tea? Simply pour the tea mixture in your ice cube trays! You can also add honey or lemon juice to the ice cubes, making the flavor become more complex as the ice melts. Or when the ice cubes are halfway frozen, drop in a brewed tea leaf, flower, mint leaf, or small piece of fruit. Make several kinds of tea ice cubes and then try different flavors of ice cubes with different flavors of iced tea! Here, we’ve used our Egyptian Camomile tea and added chamomile flowers from the garden for decoration. IMG_2170 IMG_2172(Shhh, this is completely taboo, but we even added our chamomile tea cubes to a glass of sparkling chardonnay that hadn’t been properly chilled yet. Delightful!)

Stay cool and enjoy!

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