Friday, July 02, 2010

Caffeinated cool drinks

Holy smokes it's hot out there! Atlanta has been in the 90s with humidity and heat index making everyone feel like it's 110* in the shade.

One of the pleasures I enjoy during the warm months is iced tea. We drink iced tea by the gallon daily. I also brew my own tea. Now, I appreciate sweet tea, I really do, but the tea that is consumed out here, will make you a diabetic. Also I'm a tea snob. Hey, I can't help it, my ancestors figured out tea was a beverage.

iced lychee scented black tea w/ mint

Making tea in my house is a simple thing. I have a hot water pot that always has water at the right temperature.

love the hot water pot

Using either a big tea ball, or those fantastic Japanese tea bags,
awesome tea bags

steep in 4 cups of hot water for 5 min, then pour into a gallon container with 3/4 - 1 c of sugar, (if you have time make a big jar of simple syrup and keep that in the fridge- 1c water : 1c sugar, boil to combine and let cool, before putting on the lid) Stir well to combine, then add a combination of 3 parts cold water to 1 part ice. Stir well again and store for up to 4 days. I use Lychee flavored black tea, with a handful of crushed mint leaves, or loose leaf Earl Grey.

lychee loose leaf tea

small tea

crushed mint

steeping tea

Another cool treat is Thai tea. I'm not certain what the ingredients are in Thai tea.
Thai tea

thai tea leaves
The tea has been roasted and flavored with several flavoring agents and also colored.

To brew Thai tea, bring to boil 2 cups of water, then add 2 tsp Thai tea leaves, and 1/2 cup sugar, reduce heat to a simmer and stir until sugar has dissolved.

filter Using a coffee filter, strain out the leaves.

straining the tea
Pour into a glass jar and let cool before sealing and placing in fridge.

milk & ice
To serve pour 3 oz over a glass with ice and milk. Oh by the way, this tea has a lot of caffeine. If you want to stay up this will do it.


Vietnamese Coffee is another unusual drink. It's a sweetened espresso in my opinion. I use regular coffee, but authentic Vietnamese coffee uses chicory flavored coffee.
up close

Using this neat little coffee press,

2 spoons of coffee
scoop out 1 Tbs coffee,

screw the filter lid back on
and screw on press. The press has a screw to adjust the flow of coffee.

Place the press over a tall glass filled with 1-2 oz sweetened condensed milk over ice,
hot water

and pour hot water to top of press, place lid on and watch.
dripping into condensed milk

When the coffee has finished dripping,
stir well
remove the press, and stir glass.
add ice
Enjoy the caffeine rush.

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