How to make iced tea and what type of tea is best?
As the summer months are just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to talk about a classic warm-weather beverage: iced tea. Many people enjoy an iced tea from their local café or coffee shop, but if you’re looking to make iced tea at home you might be wondering what the best Newcastle tea is to use? We’ll be exploring exactly that in this guide as well as including our favourite recipe for a perfectly refreshing iced tea.
What is the best type of tea for iced tea?
It’s easy to assume that the same type of tea you drink hot can be enjoyed iced too, but that’s not always the case. Some flavours work better cold than others. A lot of tea that is sold for iced tea tend to be orange pekoe, but if you’re looking for that classic iced tea flavour, then you’ll probably want to go for black tea.
Once you have established the basic recipe and flavours you might want to experiment with different types of tea to create a balance of tastes that suit your preferences. Most teas can be brewed cold, if you’re sticking with black tea you might want to consider Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, or Ceylon. Earl Grey is another popular tea that is used for iced tea due to its bold citrus flavours that work perfectly when served cold. Some other options include:
- Green tea blends – these tend to be more subtle and mellow in flavour but still enjoyable and refreshing for those who don’t want an overpowering beverage.
- Oolong tea – this type of tea has a natural sweetness that works well in an iced tea form.
- Herbal and fruity blends – these are great for capturing those bright fruity and light flavours that are ideal for summer.
The type of tea you’re using isn’t the only consideration you need to make; you also need to know the quality. Like with hot tea, the higher quality product you use, the better the end result will be in terms of both the overall taste and texture of the drink. Cheaper, poorer quality tea bags often contain fannings and dust remnants from the tea processing, which can negatively impact the taste. If you want to get the most from your iced tea and make it as delicious as possible, it’s best to use loose leaf tea or good quality bags of tea leaves.
How to make iced tea
- 4 teaspoons of loose tea
- Sugar (optional)
- Ice to serve
- 1-2 lemons, sliced
- Small bunch of mint
- Add the tea, sugar (if using), and half of the lemon slices to a large heatproof jug/pitcher.
- Pour over 1 litre of boiled water into the jug and leave it to steep for around 5 minutes.
- Stir the tea well, then discard the tea leaves and lemon slices. Allow the tea to cool at room temperature before putting it into the fridge to chill. If covered, the tea will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to serve the tea, fill your glasses with ice and the rest of your lemon slices. Pour in the chilled tea and finish with a sprig of mint in each glass. Other popular garnish options if you’re serving a larger group of people include orange slices, thyme sprigs, and cucumber ribbons.
Adding sweetness and extra flavour to your iced tea
If you like extra sweetness in your iced tea sugar or honey are both good options to sweeten it exactly to your liking. Make sure it is added to the tea while it’s hot, so it has plenty of time to dissolve before serving. Alternatively, some people prefer to use sugar syrup to sweeten their iced tea, using a mix of water and caster sugar. Looking for flavour inspiration for your iced tea? See some of our suggestions below:
- Herbs – we’ve already seen some examples of this with mint and thyme but there are a wide range of herbs that make a beautifully aromatic addition to iced tea. Basil and lemon thyme are other commonly used herbs, you just need to make sure that you avoid savoury herbs like coriander and chives.
- Fruits – using fruits like sliced peaches and apricots, citrus fruits, and fresh berries are a great way to make your iced tea even more summery.
- Elderflower – this deserves a place of its own because a fresh sprig of elderflower complements a classic iced tea brilliantly, giving it just the little hit of flavour it needs. If you don’t have any elderflower to hand you can always use elderflower cordial as an alternative before you add any extra sweetener.
- Alcohol – turn your iced tea into a cocktail with a splash of your favourite alcohol. Unlike the other ingredients, you’ll want to make sure you add this after your iced tea has been left to chill. You can’t go wrong with some spiced rum, gin, or Pimm’s.
Now you know how to make a perfect iced tea at home why not stock up on your loose leaf tea from Newcastle? At Pumphreys we have a wide selection of loose tea and high-quality tea bags in a variety of flavours to suit your tea-making preferences. Explore our products today to find the perfect tea for you this summer and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team if you have any questions.