It’s finally blackberry season here in western North Carolina (also in the upstate of South Carolina). The roadside stands are open, and blackberries are on everyone’s mind. They’re just perfect right now; so plump, sweet, and juicy.
Blackberries also happen to be my friend Crystal’s favorite berry, so of course we had to visit a roadside stand to get fresh blackberries. Some of them went into the meringue cake experiment, more than a few were eaten fresh, some made their way into the freezer, and some became part of this incredible tea.
Crystal loves tea at least as much as I do, maybe even more, so we tend to drink a lot of tea when we’re together. I was getting ready to start another batch of sweet tea during her last visit when I decided that iced (sweet, of course!) green tea might be good. Crystal agreed, and suggested adding blackberries since we had so many. I thought that sounded great, and thought mint might also make a nice addition. Mint grows wild all over our yard during the warm weather, so we have plenty available. We thought it all sounded good and decided to give it a try.
Here’s the recipe:
1 gallon of water, divided
6 green tea bags
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, shredded
2/3 cup fresh blackberries, crushed with a fork
1 ½ cups sugar
Place tea bags (any tags/papers removed) and six cups of water in a medium sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat.
In a small bowl, combine blackberries (along with all of their juice) and mint. Pour the mixture into the pot with the tea. Cover and allow it to steep for 4 - 8 hours.
Place sugar in the bottom of a gallon pitcher. Using a fine mesh strainer, slowly pour the tea mixture into the pitcher. (This should prevent any chunks of berries or mint leaves from ending up in your glass of tea). Stir well. Add hot water to fill the pitcher, stirring constantly. Stir for another minute. Cover and leave the pitcher on the counter for a few hours, until the teas has cooled back down to room temperature. Refrigerate. Serve cold, over ice.
This tea was absolutely delicious! We used (and I highly recommend if you can get it) Charleston Tea Plantation Wadmalaw Island Green Tea. Otherwise, just use your favorite green tea. It’s a great, refreshing summertime tea.