French Press Loose Leaves For An Elevated Iced Tea Profile

Summertime means ice-cold drinks in the sun — or when you're hiding in the shade during the heat of the day — and one way to elevate the flavor of your iced tea is by using a tool you might already have in your cabinet for brewing coffee: a French press.

In order to brew tea in a French press, you'll need to skip the tea bags and instead opt for loose-leaf tea. Whole loose-leaf tea is the highest quality tea you can get. These leaves impart a bolder flavor to the brew, and the fact that they have not been crushed helps maintain the nuanced and complex taste, which is ideal for iced tea since adding ice can dilute the flavor.

Loose-leaf tea is often packaged in a tin or multi-serving bag, rather than small tea bags, so you need to strain the tea leaves out after steeping them. That's another reason the French press is an ideal tool: You simply have to press the plunger to separate the leaves from the brewed tea.

How to brew loose leaf in a French press for flavorful iced tea

Use the French press just like you would for coffee by first adding the tea leaves and then hot water. Place the lid on top and allow the tea to steep for the recommended amount of time-based on the type of tea you're using, then press the plunger.

Be sure to use the proper brewing temperatures and times based on your tea of choice to get the best flavor. You'll want to pour the tea out of the French press after it's finished brewing to avoid prolonged contact with the leaves which can result in a bitter brew. If you want to pour your hot tea directly over ice, you can use extra tea leaves (about double the normal amount) when brewing to get a strong flavor. If not, allow the tea to cool in the refrigerator before adding ice to avoid diluting it. The result will be a refreshing iced beverage full of robust flavors.