Brewing Tea for Freezing
A good frozen tea starts with the best quality tea leaves and tea blends you can find. I like using teas that are especially flavorsome and fragrant. Fruity teas such as Peach Bellini Herbal Tea, Pineapple Pop Herbal Tea, or Self Care Blend with elderberry and apricot are beautiful frozen, but nutty teas are equally delicious. Try Caramel Almond Black Tea, Porch Sippin' Pecan Black Tea, or Oregon Breakfast Black Tea with hazelnut and orange.
When I'm freezing teas, I like to make them a bit on the strong side. Not bitter, just strong. The intensity of flavor keeps the tea from being masked by the ice. I also like to sweeten the tea before freezing. My favorite sweetener is maple dust, but honey dust or tea sugar would work just as well. I've even added milk to tea that I'll be freezing; it defrosts well with the tea and, unless it's blended with a citrus tea, it will not curdle.
Now that we've answered that burning question, can you freeze brewed tea, here are some tips to make your frozen tea adventure both safe and tasty.
Good Containers for Freezing Brewed Tea
Before you start brewing tea for freezing, it's best to choose a good container so you don't waste time searching when your tea is ready.
Glass containers are perfectly suitable, but you must exercise caution or you'll end up with pieces of frozen glass and tea exploded all over your freezer. Yes, that is the voice of experience speaking. But you can do it safely as long as you leave plenty of headroom, at least 1-2 inches, for the tea to expand during the freezing process. Sometimes I take it a step further and keep the lid off the glass bottle until the tea is completely frozen. It's much easier to clean up tea that has frozen up and out of an open-topped bottle than to find bottle shards that have been embedded in your frozen meat, bread, and vegetables.
To avoid even the chance of a glass explosion, stick to plastic bottles. They are much more forgiving and will generally expand with the tea as it freezes solid. Again, be sure to leave at least an inch of headroom to give the tea ample space to expand.
You can also freeze your tea in ice cube trays or popsicle molds for delicious and refreshing treats through the day.
What to Do With Frozen Brewed Tea
I love to freeze several bottles of tea the night before I go on a road trip or when I've got a long day of work ahead of me. The frozen tea melts slowly, keeping the tea beautifully cold for sipping throughout the day. I really like fruity teas for this, especially anything with elderberry since the color is so beautiful and supports my immune system well as I stop for fuel, meals, and breaks.
Sometimes I'll forget to finish (or start!) the cup of tea I made, so I'll pour it into a shallow dish, pop it in the freezer for a few hours, then stick the frozen tea into a blender and pulse until I have a tea slushy. It is wonderfully refreshing and an excellent pick-me-up in the afternoon. This week I made one with Coconut Macaron Dessert Tea and it was scrumptious.
I also like to make tea ice cubes. I love iced tea, but if I don't drink it quickly, it gets watered down by plain ice cubes. By keeping ice cubes of my favorite teas in the freezer, I always have what I need for a delicious glass of iced Earl Grey with maple dust.