How to prepare a great iced tea


Warm summers and iced teas – is there a better seasonal imbibitory pairing ? The best iced teas tend to be loose leaf teas from specialty producers like the   organic iced teas Kusmi Tea  which tend to taste richer, more textured, less tannic and naturally sweeter. They also tend to last longer brew for brew. Different types of iced varieties tend to reveal their innate tea characters –  iced black teas, which are well oxidized for richer flavours, make a robust cup; green and white teas taste sprightly and delicate. And teas that have been roasted, like hoji-cha or buckwheat teas are invigoratingly fresh. Sweetened teas can work well too to elevate herbal, fruity or flowery teas. And more and more, the epicurean level of tea producers are  releasing delicious flavour combinations – white bellini (white tea, apricot, peach) anyone ?

The cold brew: Use a full tablespoon of tea for every litre of cold or room temperature water. Let the tea steep for an hour at room temperature, then chill it in the fridge. Strain the leaves (or keep them in a container – for example a French press –  unlike hot brewed tea, this cold method won’t concentrate the bitter compounds like hot water. It extracts more flavor from leaves than a pure cold-brew method (cold water and steeped only in the fridge). This method is great for lighter teas like greens and whites, and emphasizes their subtle flavours , perfect for iced sencha for example.

The hot brew: If you’re looking for a stronger flavour or just in a rush, make a concentrate of coffee or tea with boiling water, then instantly dilute that concentrate with an equal amount of ice. This equates to 2 cups of water frozen into ice cubes for a litre of iced tea. Once ready, boil another 2 cups of water to a full tablespoon of tea. Steep around 2 minutes for green and white teas, and 5 minutes for oolong, black, and herbal teas, then take a small sip. The brew should taste perhaps too strong but not yet too astringent. Once the concentrate is steeped, strain it over the ice and stir until the ice dissolves. This allows for a full-bodied cup while the quick cooling reins in the tannins. Black and herbal teas excel in this preparation, the heightened intensity leading to rich, complex brews.This method is also good for sweeter teas –  mixing the concentrates of strong black teas like Assam with sugar/sweetener before diluting over ice helps it dissolving – and mint leaves or citrus peels help lend an interesting dimension to sweet teas

So prepare your special , exquisitely personal iced tea in advance and enjoy savouring its cool delights on the sweltering summer days to come (we hope)!

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