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Plant-Based Diet: Iced Tea, No Sugar Required

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Plant-Based Diet: Iced Tea, No Sugar Required

July 14, 2018

Over lunch one day at the very wonderful Honey & Co. in London’s Fitzrovia with a contingent of Remodelista editors, we cooled off with glasses of orange-blossom iced tea. Very sweet, no ice. And delicious, but like a cocktail at noon, there are just so many of these that you can drink before feeling “unusual.”

It got us to talking about iced tea recipes, and I was asked to share the version I always make. On really hot days, my first thoughts in the morning turn toward this tea. The absence of sweetener and caffeine makes my blend all the more quaffable. It works like an icy slow drip throughout the day.

Photography by Jim Powell.

Above: Start the morning with a three-tea-bag infusion, each a different variety of tea. My vital ingredient is red bush tea (also known as rooibos). Made from the leaves of a South African herb, Aspalathus linearis, it’s decaffeinated and isn’t even related to traditional tea, but it serves as a great substitute with a subtly sweet taste and less than half the tannin of regular tea. And unlike wan fruit tea, it has a kick to it, essential when avoiding caffeine.

With red bush as a base note, add another strong flavor, such as rose hips tea, for a rosy drink, or ginger tea, which is what I used here.

The third bag can be as flowery or fruity as you like. I chose Twinings Green Tea with Cranberry.

Fill a two-quart heavy glass pitcher about a third of the way with boiling water to make a strong infusion. (You can also use a teapot, of course, but I skip that step by using a pitcher that can stand up to hot water.)

Above: After steeping for long enough to let the liquid cool down (say 20 minutes), fill the jug with cold water and stir. Then add citrus slices—lemons are fine, but limes give more depth. If you are craving some natural sweetness, sliced orange or clementine make a good addition.
Above: The inclusion of mint is a must, especially if it is dominating the herb bed by the back door. Mint loves a morning trim.
Above: I like ice as much as the next person but feel that the quantities added to drinks in the US waste valuable space in a glass. Like the people at Honey & Co., I prefer my summer tea to be “iced” not “ice.” It may be all in the spelling.

For a floral variation on iced tea, see Summer Goddess Sun Tea with Chamomile Syrup. See more of our Plant-Based Diet recipes, including:

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