Contributed by Katy Morris
Leaf & Ardor Tea Co. of Fairfield, CT has put a modern and unique twist on conventional teatime, and they’ve offered us some innovative iced tea & cocktail combinations, as well as some tips & tricks for the best summertime thirst quenchers.
Fairfield-based Founders Connie Pappas and Cristina Copersino, both of whom share a passion for culinary arts and wellness, love tea: its tremendous healing properties, the sensory indulgences it offers, its versatility of flavors and uses, and the opportunity it lends to enjoy time with friends and family.
And they definitely know what they are doing from an epicurean perspective. They have both worked with professional chefs and food entrepreneurs on pairings & recipes in the past; and Connie currently provides holistic life coaching in her Westport office.
They sell their organic, seasonally inspired herbal blends and teas (that they often spend months creating) in beautiful packaging and often paired with one-of-a-kind serve ware by artisans like Westport’s Karen Ford, making them the quintessential hostess gift for your next summer soiree.
Consider their Cold-Brew Kit (also a great gift) when trying the iced tea recipe below, although special equipment isn’t necessarily required when making a good glass. Now, let’s clarify the distinction between cold-brewed iced tea versus hot-brewed iced tea and how to make the most festive, refreshing drinks for these dog days of summer.
The cold-brewing technique involves steeping tea in cold water for several hours which brings out the top notes of the tea’s flavor profile. They explain that most of their tea blends give off a smoother, brighter flavor profile when iced.
Compare this to iced tea that is made by simply chilling hot-brewed tea, which lends the same flavor profile as the hot brew.
They say it’s best to prepare it in advance – overnight or even a day or two ahead, depending on how strong you like it. Infuse with berries or citrus for some added zest, and when done brewing and cooling, you can even add some spirits to the iced tea base for a refreshing summer cocktail.
Don’t forget to include colorful fruit ice cubes in your tall glasses, as well. Simply place small berries and herbs in an ice cube tray, add water, and freeze. “Half the fun is experimenting with different flavors,” says Cristina.
Check out Leaf and Ardor’s beautiful website for flavor and brewing inspiration and for more recipes. You may order teas directly from their site or find a list of retailers who carry their products.
Thank you Connie and Cristina, for sharing these icy brewed recipes with Kosher Like Me. All photos, except for image of thyme, courtesy of Leaf and Ardor Tea Co.
This tea/cocktail is the perfect summer treat. Citrus and lavender keep the flavors bright and refreshing.
- 1/4 cup Leaf & Ardor Chamomile Bliss organic herbal blend
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 2 1/2 cups of ice
- 1 1/4 cups of dry gin
- Steep Chamomile Bliss herbal blend in boiling water, 4 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, strain through fine strainer (pressing on solids to release liquid), and add honey.
- Add Chamomile Bliss/honey mixture, lemon juice, and gin to a pitcher.
- Stir in ice till melted.
- Pour into chilled glasses & garnish with lemon twist & lavender sprig.
This fruity iced tea uses and easy cold brewing technique. Adding fresh summer fruit enhances the bright pink color and summery flavors.
- 2 Tablespoons Ruby Rose Hips organic herbal blend
- 2 cups cold, filtered water
- 5 raspberries, slightly muddled*
- 5 black cherries, slightly muddled*
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Add all ingredients to an infuser teapot. If you do not have an infuser teapot you can use a pitcher or carafe and pour the tea through a strainer when it is ready to drink.
- Let the tea chill in the refrigerator for 12 hours/overnight.
*Muddling fruits or herbs is essentially just mashing them at the bottom of the glass; this tends to release a stronger flavor and is specifically done for cocktails.
This delicious smoothie combines densely nutritious fruit with the slightly vegetal contrast of matcha tea.
This recipe is kosher, vegan and pareve (non-dairy)
- 1/4 cup frozen chopped mango
- 1/4 of a fresh ripe avocado
- 1/2 cup almond or hazelnut milk
- 1 tsp honey (or to taste)
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Leaf & Ardor matcha
- 1/8 cup filtered water
- Add all ingredients to a blender and stir so that the matcha powder is mixed into the liquid.
- Blend on medium speed until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and garnish with a wedge of mango.