Friday, May 24, 2013

Ice Tea Time

Aah, Bliss!  After some truly murderously hot days, the wind came up, the rain came down and it has been raining off and on for 3 days.  We really needed both the cool and the rain.  I don't think our cats would agree with either statement, so they go out and come in soaked, to drag their cold, wet tails across my ankles.

Back when it was hot, I had some of the Kangaita tea left over and so I iced it.  It was a bit strong for me, so I diluted it a little.  I don't think it does very well as ice tea - it loses all it's lovely nuances and becomes just "tea, tea", which is the family designation for ordinary tea. It is much too nice a tea to do that with it.  I actually prefer green ice tea.  It seems to hold on to nuance, delicacy and flavor better than many black teas.

There are at least three ways to make ice tea.  My favorite is to put a somewhat strong amount of tea in a tea sock, in a jug, fill the jug with cold water, cover with plastic wrap and bung it into the fridge.  For green tea, I let it go 5-6 hours, for black tea, it can go overnight. There is the sun tea method, where you put your tea in a glass container and set it in the sun all day.  I have done this many times, with no ill effects, but I know we are warned not to, lest bacteria invade it and make us sick.  I have not personally heard of this happening.  I don't usually do it because my cats would knock it over.

Last, but not least is the old brew a pot of strong tea method.  This is good when you want some ice tea right away.  I just make a regular pot, because I like my ice tea weak.  There are also a multitude of ice tea makers on the market and I confess to being attracted to them.  However, they are relatively expensive and refrigerator space and sunshine are not, so I will content myself with what I have.

I take part in a tea swap and I got the cutest  tea gadget, ideal for gardeners - a potted plant tea infuser.  The plant part comes out of the pot and has an infuser attached.  When you are done brewing your tea, you put it back in the pot.  It is made from food grade silicone rubber.  I am going to try it right now and see how it affects the taste.  I am going to use my SD Bell tea, as I know what that tastes like. 

Well, I think there is a faint, very faint taste of something like rubber and I think the tea is a bit weak.  But I am unused to making tea by the cup and if I do, I usually use a tea sock, so the tea has lots of room to open up.  But it is cute.

Yay, that blasted bully-boy blue jay got his comeuppance this morning!  He was trying his usual land on another bird trick, which he uses to intimidate smaller birds at the feeders, but the hairy woodpecker, though smaller, has a fierce, long, sharp beak,and he just pecked him several times and that ended that.  Ha ha, bully bird!

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