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The Search For The Greatest Iced Tea - part 1

I'm on the hunt for the greatest possible iced black tea for restaurants. I find myself at a crossroads here because the focus of Wendigo is the rare, extreme, and weird world of tea and many (all?) of the finest teas we have discovered involve at least a small amount of tea brewing skill and decent amount of brewing time for commercial use. Currently our Bigfoot Black Tea makes an bold and unique hot tea and a smooth iced tea but it does take a bit more finesse than a high traffic may be able to handle. 

Someone needs to do something about making great iced tea easy for restaurants. Currently the average American restaurant iced tea at best tastes like nothing and at worst like some old dirty water. This bums me out because as a society we are caring more about what we consume from craft beer and coffee to organic or natural based diet and still accept shit-tea simply because it is easy.

So I am trying to make it as easy as possible for consumers to get a pure unflavored perfect cup of iced tea as possible in a restaurant setting and will share my journey as I find and experiment with brewing techniques along the path to the perfect easy cup of iced tea. 

The criteria this tea must meet is-

1. Easy to brew

2.  Tasting OBVIOUSLY better than all other iced teas

3. Dark color (color directly impacts the perceived flavor... weird right?)

4. Unflavored pure black tea with no silly shit added

5. Reasonable enough cost for restaurant use 

6. High caffeine content

7. Low astringency 

 

Taste Test -

Red Thunder

I find myself on a path I never expected. CTC teas tend to be of lower quality but are extremely easy to brew. I have found some unique kinds of CTC that have qualities that may be needed. I feel like I need to learn more about this and taste variations on CTC teas to completely discount it. This CTC Red Thunder I have come across is pretty cool. 

Brewed hot it has a rich malty taste with very little bitterness. Once cooled though the malty flavor becomes way more subdued. This tea steeps up a dark red color and strong unique flavor within a few seconds though... I have never seen a tea do this before.

I enjoyed this tea but don't think it is as high quality as I would be willing to have on the Wendigo Tea roster and only meets a few of the requirements for the perfect iced tea. Good try Red Thunder but not quite good enough.

Thanks

Sky

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How I Learned To Cold Brew For A Hot Day

I use my EZBrew to brew small batches of tea throughout the day. It’s a great way to make a cup or two at a time, but sometimes you just need a whole bunch of Bigfoot Black Tea all at once. Maybe you’ve got friends coming over, maybe you’ve decided to never sleep again, or maybe you need energy to defeat The Kraken in a battle to the death. I don’t know your life. Whatever the case, small brewing systems just can’t cut it when you need a big ol’ huge batch of delicious all-natural tea.

I never really gave cold brewing the time of day. I always associated it with over-sweetened weak iced tea made from low-grade baggies. I was wrong.


While looking into alternative brewing techniques, I stumbled across a cold-brewing method that actually produces a burly high-quality tea without leeching tannins or other nasty bitter flavors. After a few tries, I realized that cold brewing is super easy and gives you a chance to create subtle variations in the teas you already love and drink regularly. It is handy for making large batches, is less caffeinated than regular brewing, has lower astringency (smoother taste), and makes your morning routine a bit faster so you can get tea into your body and get down to business. Yeah!!!

I’ve since fallen in love with cold brewing, and I’ve taken to brewing larger batches for myself once a week. Traditionally brewed tea will always be my go to, but you just can’t beat an ice cold Wendigo Green Tea on a hot summer afternoon. And this is a very easy may to make it. So get to it!

Cold Brew the Wendigo Way

Step 1: Add loose leaf tea to a jar or pitcher (I use 6 tsp. for a 32 oz. jar).

Step 2: Add water (and sweetener if you are into that kind of stuff).

Step 3: Cover or seal the container and place it in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Wait 8 hours or so (just wait for a while or go to bed—a few hours more or less isn’t a big deal).

Step 5: Strain the tea leaves out of the water.

Step 6: Pour over ice and drink ravenously!  

*Can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days* 

*Herbal teas should not be cold brewed since some contain bacteria that are normally killed during traditional brewing methods*

Variations

Try using half or twice as much tea as you normally use. Experiment to find the ratio that works well for you and the kind of tea you are brewing. Start with the above method and see if you would prefer it stronger or smoother.  

Be impatient. Start with warm water and you can cut a few hours off that brewing time

Get fancy. Throw a handful of fresh fruit or a small amount of mint in there. A drop of citrus helps keep all the healthy stuff fresher for longer.

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So whether you are fighting the heat by drinking a giant glass of iced tea or you need a whole bunch of tea at once, cold brewing could be worth a try for you. To be honest, nothing beats a tea brewed the traditional way, but it’s always worth trying new things every once in a while. Let me know if you find a cool trick or a tea that tastes awful being cold brewed. I have only tried a handful, but figured I would share this in case you guys wanted to try it out!

Sky

Hit me up any time by emailing me at Sky@WendigoTea.com 

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Getting the most out of your tea 101

One of the coolest parts about having awesome tea is that you can steep the leaves over and over and over. All Wendigo Teas can be brewed four times or more. This makes for a very economical way to brew massive batches of tea.

Example 1: The Economical Host

step one- Heat your water to the right temperature and get out the proper amount of tea that your tea steeping device can handle (usually 1 tsp. per 8 oz. water).

step two- Place tea in a tea steeping device (teapot, french press, stepping mug, EZbrew).

step three- Pour water over leaves and wait suggested brew time. Then immediately separate the leaves from the liquid tea you just made.

step four- Pour your fresh brewed tea into a pitcher.

step five- Bring your water back up to the right tempeture.

repeat steps three to five until you have as much tea as you want.

 

** note that each successive brew has less caffeine and loses a little bit of the boldness so you are creating an average of all those brews you made so your final product will be approximately half the caffeine per cup unless you brew it the next way. **

 

Example 2: The Straight Ballin Host

step one- Heat your water to the right temperature and get out the proper about of tea that your tea steeping device can handle (usually 1 tsp. per 8 oz. water).

step two- Place tea in a tea steeping device (teapot, french press, stepping mug, EZbrew).

step three- Pour water over leaves and wait suggested brew time. Then immediately separate the leaves from the liquid tea you just made.

step four- Pour your fresh brewed tea into a pitcher.

step five- Bring your water back up to the right tempeture.

step six- Add another 1-2 tsp. of tea leaves into teapot

repeat steps 3-6 until you have as much tea as you want.

** note this will guarantee a full strength flavor and caffein level for a huge batch of tea. **

Thank You

President of Wendigo Tea 

Sky White

 

If you have any questions please email me at Sky@WendigoTea.com. 

 

ps. Watch your little fingers and don't burn yourself!!!

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Its Eyes Have Opened

Out from the darkness lurked Wendigo Tea Co., born from the wilderness and the wonders of the unknown. 

This is where world class tea and mysterious beasts have become one. We carry only the best teas that the world has to offer and will never give you the standard old pretentious nonsense that other tea companies give you.

 

Sky

 

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