Let's talk about the real star of the show when it comes to iced tea.
Although often underwhelming, the ice plays an important role... It's why I love grabbing iced tea to-go from Green Sage Café here in Asheville (crushed ice perfection). It's why I monitor the amount of ice used so the tea isn't watered down or (GASP) not cold enough. And now I'm ready to upgrade my ice to fancy up my usual morning tea.
I'm looking at these gorgeous, fancy ice balls and cubes as an easy way to infuse your tea. Hear me out...
You will need ice trays that create oversized ice cubes or balls, these are often used for alcoholic drinks. Fill 1/4 of the way up with filtered water. Add in your favorite herbs such as mint, basil, rosemary, lavender. When adding herbs, put a lot! A small sprig won't cut it. Fill up with water to 3/4 full.
Ice will form over night then gently remove from the tray. Plop ice in your favorite glass/jar/mug/pitcher. Pour tea over (pick your favorite variety for an herbal infusion) and let sit over ice for an hour. A tea brewed a bit stronger works well here.
Once an hour has passed, the herbs have sunk their teeth into your tea and it's time to enjoy! So refreshing.
Got a sunny day coming up? Let's make some good ol' fashioned sun tea. It is summer, after all.
How does sun tea work exactly?
Tea will release flavors into any water, warm or cool. Hot water simply speeds up the process. So you're just taking the long road to a delicious pitcher of tea and avoiding turning on your stove on a hot day.
Fill a clear glass pitcher or dispenser with filtered water. Add 7-9 tea bags per gallon of water. I'm a fan of black tea, the flavors evolve nicely in the sun and you can add just about anything to it.
Set your pitcher out in the sun, unsweetened, for 2-3 hours of direct light.
Adjust the amount of tea bags added based on how strong you like your tea. Adjust the amount of time you leave in sun based on how dark you like your tea (and the strength of the sun).
Bring your pitcher indoors and sweeten as you like. I'd start with 1/8 cup of sugar/honey/agave because I'm conservative with how sweet I take my drinks. In fact, I drink my tea unsweetened but I know it's the south! Lemons or mint are also tasty additions.
From what I hear, sun tea won't last long so drink up with friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Please know that there may be some images in this post unsuitable for those under 18.
Creating portraits with someone is such an interesting process. You get together and throw concepts around that suit both of you. The final images should represent the person in a beautiful light. Showing them when they're enjoying themselves and relaxed. Showing them when they feel confident in front of the camera or when they don't even notice it.
I love the idea of my clients looking back and being really happy to remember themselves in that moment.
Tristin and I had a blast shooting in the river. It was a hot evening and the water was the perfect temperature, although she could have done without the slimy rocks under her toes.
We'd be laughing and joking one minute then get into photo-mode the next and end up with a very serious image. I did manage to catch her cracking a smile a few times though.
A personal goal of mine was to capture movement with her dress(es) as the breeze blew by.
We found a little alcove to take some final shots before the sun set. They were final shots because she was about to be soaking wet too! It's always fun to stretch boundaries and get creative with portraits. No rules.
Thank you Tristin for having fun with me in the river and for just being yourself in these photos.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in a portrait session.
Summer in the south means plenty of iced tea. Non-negotiable.
The key is adding variety to your recipes.
We're kicking off the August Summer Series with iced green minty tea. Each week of August I'll share a favorite iced tea. Stay tuned for summertime favorites to sip on the porch while the weather swelters.
The days are reaching 90 degrees way too often here in Asheville! We are lucky to enjoy 60-70s in the mornings and evenings but right around 4pm, you need nothing more than a cool beverage. When water or booze isn't in the cards, iced tea is.
Our first iced tea is a healthy gem for any tea lover. The touch of mint turns green tea into a favorite go-to.
Making tea for just you or a brewing for a few? [Rhyming!] This recipe is easy to cut down or multiply.
Recipe for 2-4:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
Remove from heat and add 3 or 4 of your favorite green tea bags to steep.
Throw in 4 sprigs (20 leaves or so) of mint into the water.
Let it all steep for about 10-12 minutes.
Ok, now strain out the mint and remove tea bags.
Let tea cool to room temperature before pouring over ice or refrigerating.
When it's time to drink, use extra ice and top with a sprig of mint! I avoid throwing mint leaves in my drinking glass unless I'm using a straw.