Iced tea is a summertime staple in my house, and in the past I've always relied on "sun tea" as my preferred method. Sun Tea is made by filling a jug with cold water and tea bags and using the sun's heat to steep it on a porch or other sunny outdoor space. But recently I've been relying more on cold-brewed teas that I can just throw in the refrigerator with the herbs I have on hand. If you're not familiar with cold-brewing teas, it's a process that uses cold water and time to slowly draw out the flavors of the tea. As Harold McGee said in a recent New York Times Article, it's a slower, gentler process but many people like the more subtle, true flavors that come about when heat isn't used. While the below recipes aren't all necessarily written with cold-brew instructions, you can make them that way. Depending on how strong you like your tea, experiment with the timing. Generally, 8-12 hours will be the perfect steep time for a cold-brewed cup of tea. And use whatever herbs you have on hand; the recipes below have specific suggestions, but I'm finding it's hard to go too terribly wrong.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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