Beat the heat in Pittsburgh with lavender lemonade

Beat the heat in Pittsburgh with lavender lemonade

If you’re looking for a way to beat the humidity and heat in Pittsburgh this summer, venture over to Squirrel Hill and check out Te Café on the corner of Murray and Beacon.

“Pittsburgh’s Place to take tea” boasts a relaxing environment, a place you could set up shop for a day of studying or plugging in and tuning out. Open for the past five years, the inviting café attracts both regular customers, and the wandering passerby curious to taste of a variety of different teas from around the world.

The floor to ceiling windows allow light to pour into the cozy, yellow tea bar where you can order specialty herbal and loose teas, as well as the particularly refreshing and voted “Pittsburgh’s Best” Lavender lemonade.

Te Café offers three unique flavored lemonades: lavender, hibiscus, and ginger. All of which are made from scratch, using fresh ingredients and nothing from concentrate.

Try them all!

Lemonade flavors at Te Cafe: lavender, hibiscus, and ginger

Lemonade flavors at Te Cafe: lavender, hibiscus, and ginger

I ordered a large lavender lemonade and the manager, Parag Gohel, was kind enough to offer me a taste of the other two lemonades and answer a few questions I had about making them at home. To make the lavender lemonade, you use dried lavender and allow it to steep in hot water, and then you strain, and add equal parts lemons and sugar.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the lavender lemonade, as I consider it more of a generic body lotion smell, than something I enjoy drinking. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I was handed the pale purple iced beverage. It was subtle and smooth, so light you could easily drink a few glasses and not feel full. The lavender was less sweet than I imagined and didn’t overpower the lemonade, it simply added a light note of the aromatic flower.

As for the hibiscus lemonade, it’s made with crushed, dried petals from the hibiscus flower. It tasted like citrus fruit punch and would work well as a kid-friendly drink at parties instead of the usual pop and sugar-laden fruit juices from concentrate. The ginger lemonade was more potent and had spicy notes, a flavor I would suggest for the more adventurous lemonade sipper.

Molly’s summer lavender lemonade recipe

Lavender lemonade ingredients

The main ingredients

After my trip to Te Café, it was time to try making the lavender lemonade at home. The only items needed are: fresh lemons, sugar, and dried lavender. I bought the lavender at Te Café, but I assume you can buy dried lavender at specialty health stores and gourmet shops as well.

The ingredients:

  • 8 lemons
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender
  • 2 cups boiling water

The process:

  1. Boil 2 cups of water.
  2. Measure out 3 tbsp. of lavender and pour the boiling water on top. Allow the lavender to steep for 10 minutes.
  3. While the lavender is steeping, juice 8 lemons. Strain to discard seeds and pulp. The eight lemons should produce about 1-½ cups of lemon juice.
  4. Strain the lavender mixture, add the one-cup of sugar, and whisk together.
  5. Pour the lavender sugar mix over ice, then on top pour over the lemon juice. Taste the lemonade and if it’s too sweet, add cold water. If it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar.
  6. Sip and enjoy.
Make your own refreshing lavender lemonade

You can make your own lavender lemonade!