The sunny days are finally here! But what to do if you love tea but don’t want it hot, despite knowing it hydrates you and quenches thirst? The solution is simple! Make a big jug of iced tea! We’re sure the name alone conjures up images of ice cubes clinking in a deep, amber liquid…
A user’s guide
The first thing to know is that iced tea can be prepared in two ways. We recommend the first one because it preserves the full flavors of the tea. This method is known as cold infusion and should be carried out using room-temperature water. The infusion should last at least 30 minutes and as long as several hours according to your taste. This option takes longer – we advise you to prepare your jug the night before – but it’s worth the wait! The leaves open slowly as they infuse, freeing their flavors without any of the bitterness. However, we understand you might be rushed, or perhaps you have organized a teatime at the last minute. If so, opt for a hot infusion as the leaves open much faster in simmering water.
For the second option, follow these three steps:
- Pour 500ml of simmering mineral water into a jug.
- Infuse a large bag of your iced tea blend for seven minutes.
- Allow to sit for half an hour.
As with hot tea, we recommend using fresh, lightly mineralized water. Ideally, you should use spring or filtered water to avoid changing any of the tea’s flavor. Remember to use the same water to make the ice cubes or crushed ice you add as a finishing touch. And don’t forget the different blends of caffeine-free herbal and fruit teas, maté, and rooibos are also excellent iced! Everything you need to keep things varied while sharing this delicious drink with friends and family!
Iced tea all over the world
In the United States…
The Americans simply adore iced tea. So much so they even celebrate an “Iced Tea Day” on June 10 every year! So the legend goes – despite having already been around for several decades – iced tea was made popular by Richard Blechynden. The merchant supposedly brought the beverage to the 1904 Saint-Louis World’s Fair. The sun was beating down and the crowds of visitors were parched… He decided to serve them the cold tea he had prepared, and everyone loved it! Iced tea in the southern states is always sweet, which is not always the case in the north. However, wherever you are in America, if you order a tea without specifying what sort, you are likely to receive it iced!
Thai iced tea is made using black tea and served with milk (generally concentrated milk) and sugar. Its pretty, ochre color is produced by the spices added to the drink such as cinnamon, cardamom, aniseed, and even orange blossom. This iced tea is popular across all of South-East Asia.
In Latin America, but also in… Switzerland
It may seem odd, but the Swiss love thé froid (which is what they call iced tea). They drink it on a regular basis and some studies have even found they are the leading consumers in Europe. As for Latin Americans, they prefer an iced version of maté that they enjoy throughout the day.
A natural, delicious beverage
Aside from being a light, delicious, refreshing drink for when the temperatures soar, iced tea can also delight all the senses. After all, you may as well make the most of it! Choose a beautiful, transparent jug to showcase the color of your tea and accessorize with bright glitter, long-handled spoons, and decorated glasses. Finish it off with your own personal touch such as pieces of fruit, syrup, honey, spices, or even mint leaves!
Watch this space! Kusmi Tea will soon be offering several original cocktail recipes (both with and without alcohol) so you can make your own iced teas as home. The perfect drinks to share with friends and family throughout the summer and beyond!