Wednesday, June 22, 2005

June 22, 2005 ~ 6:14pm

Oh wow! It's been well over a month since my last entry... I'm sorry to those of you who check regularly on this only to find that I've not entered anything! I can't believe a whole month has passed! Wow, time really does fly when you're having fun (or... in my case... drowning in a pile of work!)

The weather up in the Pacific Northwest has been quite odd... it's been cold and rainy, rather than warm, which is the norm for June. Not that I'm complaining... I actually enjoy the change... but it has been really rough on my allergies, which has left me pretty debilitated, I have to rinse out my contact lenses at least 4 times daily just to see, because of the buildup.

I guess it could be worse, couldn't it? I'm not going to bore my readers with a bunch of fodder!

Well, even though the weather hasn't been extraordinarily warm, I've pretty much switched my tea drinking to iced tea! I still enjoy my hot cup of tea in the morning to get me started, and I usually wind down at night with a warm tisane, but during the day, I'm drinking lots of iced tea! My favorite teas to drink iced have been:

  • Strawberry -- this tea tastes extraordinary iced! It is so refreshing, not overly sweet, with just enough of a strawberry taste to taste like Summertime!
  • Sweet Summer -- this is a tisane made from Rooibos. The flavor is a sparkling, tingling sensation! It reminds me of sweet berries that have been macerated in wine, and then served over bread pudding! It's one of those flavors that you've to got to try!!! It's also great because it's naturally caffeine free... plus you get lots of health benefits from Rooibos!
  • Mango Tango -- This was the first tea that I started brewing as iced tea... and for a week, it was all that I was drinking, because it just tasted that good! A nice tropical taste shines through on this one!

I've tried others iced too, and they've all been really great... but these three have been my absolute favorites!

To make Iced Tea: I boil enough water for 3 cups of tea. I then add 5 heaping teaspoons of tea to my teapot, and when the water has acheived a boil, I pour it in to the teapot over the loose tea leaves. I allow this to steep for about 4 minutes, and then I pour it in to my pitcher. I usually add about a fourth of a cup of sugar (I don't like my iced tea too sweet, but, I like a little sugar to bring out the natural qualities of the essential oils in the teas), and I add the sugar before adding cold water or ice, so that the sugar can dissolve into the concentrated brew.

Then I fill the pitcher (it's a half gallon pitcher) the rest of the way (after the tea and sugar have been added to the pitcher) with cold water. I know that many people will tell you that this will lead to a cloudy tea, but, it's worked for me.

If you get a cloudy tea, and you don't want a cloudy tea, you shouldn't add the cold water, but instead, the water should be room temp, and allow the tea to come to a room temperature before you refrigerate.

Anyway, that's it for now... I promise to at least TRY to keep my blog up to date... sorry again!


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