June 2017 Newsletter

by Christopher

Happy Summer!

As we break out of a historically wet winter here in the Pacific Northwest, we have gladly welcomed the warmth of the summer sun in recent days. The warmer weather brings with it a great opportunity to enjoy some delicious, refreshing organic iced teas and perhaps an excuse to indulge in one of our new summer treats.

Spring Tea Tour in Japan

Since our last newsletter, Modern Steep owners, Rich and Christopher, spent 12 days touring through a number of organic tea farms and factories in Japan. The trip coincided with the first pick of the season, known as the First Flush. After coming out of dormancy the tea plant yields the highest regarded teas available. We will share videos and photographs on our website in late summer as we take you on a virtual tour from harvest through transforming these beneficial leaves into great tasting, healthful tea. For now, here are just a couple of photos from the trip.

Summertime at our Cafe

Our summer drink specials this year include the return of our house-made Hibiscus Lemonade. We have also introduced a new Blueberry Smoothie made with a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich organic blueberries blended with bananas, hemp protein, South African rooibos and coconut milk. Our tap teas (ready to serve) include our organic Vietnam black tea and a sparkling version of fan-favorite FloraBerry.

We are also excited to introduce our new house-made Matcha Ice Cream! Starting Saturday, June 3rd, we will serve  this tea-rich, sweet temptation. We churn up this creamy, delicious treat using only organic ingredients. It’s lightly sweetened with agave nectar and served with love (and a few blueberries).

Tips for Making Iced Tea (individual 16 oz serving)

Chill Out! with some awesome organic iced tea this summer.

Hot Brewing for Iced Tea Making

Prepare in hot-safe 8 oz measuring cup (we use Pyrex)

  • place infuser into measuring cup
  • put 3 grams tea leaf into infuser 
  • add 4-5 ounces hot water (using recommended temperature for tea type)
  • steep for recommended time based on tea type (generally 1 to 4 minutes)
  • fill 16 oz cup with ice
  • remove strainer, pour hot tea over ice
  • add more ice to top off
  • Sit back, relax and refresh yourself with your freshly brewed iced tea!

Cold Brewing Bulk Batches (1/2 Gallon Recipe)

There’s a lot to love about cold brewing, for instance . . . cold brewed tea will be less tannic and/or astringent than traditional brews and are a lot more flexible regarding steep times. Black teas will not cloud up when chilled. Cold brewing can increase antioxidants in white teas. And, it’s easy to do.

  • add 20 – 24 grams of tea leaf directly into steeping vessel (glass bowl or pitcher)
  • add 64 oz of cool filtered water
  • steep for recommended time (see below) in refrigerator, stirring occasionally
  • after steeping, pour leaves through fine kitchen strainer into ½ gallon pitcher for serving

Cold Brew Steeping Times

  • green: 10 – 15 minutes
  • white: 15 – 20 minutes
  • oolongs: greener styles may be ready in 2 – 3 hours while darker styles may take up to 8
  • black: 8 – 12 hours
  • rooibos & herbals: 12 – 16 hours

Tip: For herbal or blended tea infusions, it is recommended that you very briefly “pre-rinse” the blend with hot water (over 175 degrees) to kill off any potential bacteria prior to cold-brewing.