The lime tree is bearing so much fruit that I’ve been doing all kinds of things with the limes. I used a few to cook a chicken dish, I made a salad dressing with lime juice and now, this iced tea drink. And if the tree keeps bearing fruit for the next couple of weeks, I’ll consider making lime jam.
Lime jam? Why not? If orange peel can be transformed into orange marmalade, why not lime? But I’ll use the whole fruits, I think, instead of just the peel. But that’s for another day — if the lime tree continues to be as generous with its fruits. Right now, this deliciously refreshing iced tea drink made with loose tea leaves and fresh lime. I’d have added mint leaves but the mint died after all that rain.
But first, about the tea. We’re partial to loose tea leaves at home. You can, of course, just drop a tea bag in hot water and make your iced tea with that, if that is your preference. But loose tea leaves have a deeper flavor. And they don’t have added chemicals which tea bags have lots of. Not kidding. Go and read the label when you buy tea bags. The ingredient list is pretty long because of all the extras. I know because we used to buy tea bags by the box. We still do occasionally because it’s more convenient for travel. But we don’t use them as often as we do the loose tea leaves.
To make iced tea with loose tea leaves, you start as though you were making a cup of hot tea. Drop a generous pinch of tea leaves in a cup and pour in hot water. Not too much but just enough to allow the leaves to steep. And, remember not to let the tea leaves steep for too long because that will make the liquid bitter. It’s not the length of steeping time that will make the tea strong but, rather, the amount of tea you use. If you want strong tea, use more tea leaves.
Jasmine tea is a mild tea. If you want something really strong, use a black tea variety. Oolong, in tea lingo. Earl Grey, for instance, is an oolong blend. That’s Speedy’s preference. Alex, Sam and I prefer milder varieties like jasmine tea and green tea.
- a generous pinch of jasmine tea steeped in 1/4 c. of hot water for about 4 minutes
- juice of one lime
- honey to taste
- lime slices
- Pour the tea into a tall glass making sure that the leaves get left behind. If you want to be extra careful not to have tea leaves in your iced drink, use a strainer. I was too lazy to get one.
- Pour in enough cold water to half fill the class.
- Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice into the class. Take another lime and cut into slices. Drop the slices into the glass.
- Add a tablespoonful of honey to start with, taste, and adjust the amount of lime juice and honey, as needed. You can opt to press the lime slices with the back of a long spoon to release the juice. You want the drink to taste strong at this point because you’re going to add ice and the ice will dilute the drink as it melts.
- When the drink tastes right to you, drop in some ice cubes. Stir. Drink up and enjoy.