Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Celebrating National Iced Tea Month with my Mom's Beach Iced Tea Recipe

June is National Iced Tea Month!  My first love for tea was in the form of iced tea.  Growing up in South Florida, it was the perfect thirst quenching beverage after a day at the beach or outside.  My mom's now famous beach iced tea included fresh squeezed orange juice. 

I have included an except from the Tropical Tea by the Sea chapter in my first book, Tea with a Twist. It gives a little background into my mom's beach iced tea.

"To escape the heat and keep four kids entertained, my parents would load the family in our car and head for the beach just five miles from our home. We would always go to Spanish River Park, which was adjacent to the ocean via a tunnel that went under Highway A1A. The park had playgrounds, grills, picnic tables, and huge shade trees that were great for climbing. It was easy to go back and forth from the park to the ocean and we would play for hours on end.

There is just something about the salt air and the cool ocean breezes to work up an appetite. My mom would always pack a picnic lunch for the family and make her special “beach iced tea”. After playing in the ocean waves and building sand castles fit for a king, I could hardly wait to sit down for our picnic and drink Mom’s refreshing brew that she only made for our special beach outings. It was filled with fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges that grew right in our backyard. It was sure to quench your thirst after a hard day of playing in the water."

There is a complete tea party menu to go with the Beach Iced Tea such as Citrus Chicken Salad, Orange Tarragon Savory Scones, and Key Lime Coconut Bars.  If interested check out my book, Tea with a Twist to get all of the recipes.  Also included are some great entertaining ideas for a Tropical Tea by the Sea including what to do with the used orange rinds leftover from squeezing the oranges yourself! If you haven't ever seen orange groves, below is a quick video from my most recent trip to Florida and then the recipe for Beach Iced Tea.

Here's the Beach Iced Tea Recipe:
1. Use spring water or fresh, cold water from the tap. Do not reuse water you have already boiled because the oxygen will have evaporated and this affects the taste of the tea.

2. Measure 1/3 cup black Ceylon tea leaves into an infuser.  For this large quantity, use a large infuser so the leaves have room to expand and steep properly. You can also put the leaves directly in the teapot and strain the tea when you pour it into the gallon container.

3. Heat the water until it reaches a full boil for black teas. A six-cup teapot is a good size to use. Pour the hot water over the tea leaves immediately and cover your teapot.

4. Steep the tea for the time instructed on the tea package or 3 to 5 minutes for black tea, over steeping can also cause the tea to taste bitter.

5. After the steeping, remove the leaves.

6.  Squeeze enough oranges to get 4 cups of juice.  Save empty orange rinds for later use.  You may substitute refrigerated fresh squeezed orange juice not-from-concentrate, but it is not as good as the real thing Add orange juice to steeped tea and sweeten to taste.  Add water to top off the pitcher. 

In my next blog, we are going to the personal side of tea.  Beyond being a tea expert and having a tea business, there is a personal side to tea that deeply connects me to the beverage.  You will read all about that shortly.  For now, I would love to hear about  your favorite summer iced tea recipes!

Happy Summer and Sipping Iced Tea, Lisa


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I will make sure and show Eric this so that he can learn to make the best iced tea. I have heard of lemon and lime juice in tea but never thought of orange juice. What a refreshing twist.

  2. Dearest Lisa,

    Missed some of your blogs as I was in the transfer of my website to the new Zen Cart location. That took lots of time.
    But I'm also surprised to see you have so few comments; there must be a reason for that. Why don't you add the Google Friend Connect button to your sidebar? It is so easy to do; just follow the link's instructions here:
    I know the area where you grew up in Florida. The parents of our friends live in Sebring on Columbus Blvd. And the friends live in Lakeland. Did you ever visit the Bok Tower? Love that serene area and to enjoy a tea or coffee there is so special!

    Lots of love,