Tea Time

With the sun finally starting to show itself for more than an hour or two, it's time to switch from my morning cup of cocoa to something ice-cold and refreshing. My favorite warm weather drinks include San Pellegrino mineral water, homemade raspberry lemonade, and iced tea.

I grew up drinking Lipton's iced tea or my grandmother's "sweet tea" which is mostly sugar. These days, I prefer a lightly sweetened caffeine-free version ( I use Sucanat, local honey, or stevia) to quench my summertime thirst.

I have tried making my own herbal iced tea using mint from my garden, but it just never tasted like "real" iced tea. I discovered this variety at Fred Meyer a few years ago and it's now my number one choice. It tastes just like black tea, either hot or cold, but it is a naturally caffeine-free (not decaffeinated) blend of herbs. They don't normally stock it anymore, but I have them special-order a case of it every spring when the weather finally warms up.

Directions are on the box. I pour 4 cups of boiling water over 8 tea bags in the 2-quart pitcher, add sweetener to taste, let steep 15 minutes, then add 4 cups cold water and refrigerate it overnight.

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