I’ve always liked iced tea fine, but it wasn’t until I moved to Texas that I really began to appreciate it. There’s nothing like a big glass of chilled tea on a hot, sweaty day. Now that Austin is really heating up again, I find myself guzzling it on almost a daily basis. (Looks like I’m onto something, apparently it’s National Iced Tea Month – they have a day/month for everything!) I don’t love sweet tea like some southern dwellers – I prefer it no sugar, with lots of lemon. No matter how you liked your iced tea, it can be a bit of a hassle to make at home. Sometimes I make hot tea, pour it into a water bottle, add ice, etc. but it’s not the most graceful process.
Takeya sent me their new flash chill tea maker to check out, and I was interested to see if its specialty “beverage system” was better than my patented “pour warm tea over some ice in a cup” method. Turns out, yes, it is.
If you’ve ever used an infuser system it’s kind of the same idea. You put tea (either loose leaf, bagged, or their special Takeya pods) into the little infuser section in the middle, add in some hot water, let it steep, take the infuser out, add a bunch of ice, close the super-seal top, and shake-shake-shake. Voila! A batch of icy, flavorful tea.
You can buy one of these bad boys from the Takeya online store – the smallest version, the 1 quart, runs for $25. If you’re an iced tea aficionado, it’s really not a bad deal at all. And way easier/classier than throwing some ice cubes into a mug of tea.
Here’s a recipe from Takeya to get you started…
Watermelon, Lime, & Mint
FOR 2 QUART ICED TEA MAKER
Makes 8 glasses
2 TAKEYA Mintopia Green Iced Tea Packets
4 cups cold water, preferably filtered
4 tablespoons honey
2¾ cups watermelon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
²?³ cup fresh mint, chopped
(Optional: extra watermelon for garnish)
To get an even bigger watermelon kick from this drink, fill glasses with frozen watermelon cubes just before serving the Green Mint iced tea infusion. Just slice watermelon into 1-inch cubes and freeze until solid.
1. PREP Tear open the TAKEYA Mintopia Green Iced Tea Packets, pour tea into Tea Infuser and twist into lid.
2. BREW Heat water to a boil, cool for 3 minutes and fill the pitcher halfway. Lower the lid with attached Tea Infuser into the hot water, allowing steam to vent, and brew for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and detach the Tea Infuser. Stir in honey until dissolved.
3. FLASH CHILL Top off with ice, seal lid and shake for 30 seconds to flash chill. Remove 2½ cups of the iced tea to make room for the fruit infusion.
4. ADD CITRUS FLAVOR Twist the Citrus Juicer into the top of the pitcher and juice the lime. Twist off the Citrus Juicer, seal and shake to mix.
5. ADD FRUIT & HERB FLA VORS Twist the Fruit Infuser into the Infuser Extender and add chopped watermelon and mint. Twist the Fruit Infuser into the lid, lower it into the iced tea and seal airtight. Zip on the Thermo Jacket and infuse for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
FOOD PAIRING Bring on the spices and pair curry, pepper and hot sauces with the sweet and refreshing flavors of watermelon, lime and mint.