The Best Tea Flavors For Iced Tea
You don't have to be an expert tea maker to make great iced tea. With a few basic ingredients and a little imagination, you can dream up fantastic iced tea recipes that will keep you cool and refreshed all season long.
From fruit-infused teas to spiced concoctions, the possibilities are endless. Discover the best tea flavors for iced tea and start brewing your dream iced tea today.
When you want to brew a refreshing glass of iced tea, don't reach for Lipton tea bags that are tasteless, bitter, and leak tea leaves into your mug. Instead, check out our collection of the best premium loose leaf teas to make iced tea right here.
The Best Tea Flavors For Iced Tea
1. Black Tea
If you're looking for a classic take on ice-cold tea, look no further than tasty black teas. Black tea can also be used as a base tea for summer fruit teas. Fun and flavorful additions include slices of strawberries, kiwis, oranges, and limes.
You can use high-quality Indian black teas such as Assam or Darjeeling. Alternatively, you can opt for an earthier flavor with Chinese black teas such as Keemun. British black teas are also popular, particularly English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey.
Simply bring water to a boil and add a few tablespoons of loose leaf tea. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator or serving over ices cubes in tall glasses.
2. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a popular favorite whether it is served hot or iced. This tea is particularly well-suited for iced teas thanks to its refreshing taste and tingling aftertaste. The menthol in peppermint tea leaves dances across taste buds, leaving a clean-mouth feeling and helping to cool you off.
Peppermint iced tea can be sweetened by adding a dash of simple syrup when the tea concentrate is still hot. You can also choose to cold brew this tasty tea. Cold brewing is a technique where the tea steeps in cold water rather than hot water.
Simply add the peppermint leaves to a tea strainer and place in water at room temperature. Store the tea mixture in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Serve in glasses with a handful of ice cubes and add a few cucumber slices for garnish.
3. Green Tea
If you're looking for vegetal and herbaceous flavors, green tea is the perfect choice when it comes to brewing iced tea. Japanese varieties such as Sencha and Matcha offer grassy and vegetal flavors with hints of umami. Green teas from China including Longjing and Gunpowder tea have a roasted and toasty flavor that is slightly smokier and richer.
Iced green tea should be brewed using water between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the mixture cool to room temp before serving on ice or storing in the refrigerator.
For Chinese green teas, add spices such as cinnamon and star anise to play up the bold notes. For Japanese green teas, add lemon, mint, or honey to accentuate the delicate flavor profile. You can also add flowers for a subtle sweet undertone.
4. Hibiscus Tea
The best iced teas not only taste delicious, but they also look stunning. Hibiscus iced tea is the perfect choice for people looking for a yummy tea that will look gorgeous at an outdoor tea party or alongside the pool. The vibrant magenta hue of hibiscus petals lends a gorgeous shade to any afternoon.
Hibiscus iced tea also delivers in the flavor department. This herbal tea features a flavor similar to cranberries. It's tart and sweet with a gentle kick that energizes taste buds. It brews into a deep red color and can be paired with fruits such as oranges, pomegranates, and berries.
5. White Tea
People who enjoy subtle, yet nuanced flavor will love iced white tea. White tea features a delicate flavor profile with floral notes and sweet undertones. The best white teas for brewing iced tea are high-quality tea blends such as Silver Needle, White Peony, and African white teas.
Since white tea is delicate, it must be brewed at lower temperatures to preserve the flavor profile. Brew white tea using water between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before serving.
White tea offers the perfect backdrop to spice things up. Add citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges or opt for more subtle notes with apples and peaches.
6. Chamomile Lemongrass Tea
Chamomile lemongrass tea blends two tasty plants into one perfect iced tea blend. Lemongrass adds a zesty touch that makes iced tea even more refreshing. The chamomile petals provide a calming and soothing effect that makes it easier to unwind and enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
7. Barley Tea
Barley tea is wildly popular in Korea where it is known as boricha. The tea is the flavor of summer and many Koreans celebrate the change in seasons with gallons of the delectable tea. The rich flavor is similar to iced coffee.
Barley tea offers a toasty flavor with nutty undertones. It's light and sweet and brews into a sunny golden hue. The color of the tea is perfect for backyard cookouts and summertime hangouts. You can add corn to deepen the robust flavor profile or sweeten things up a little with a few cinnamon sticks.
8. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is cultivated almost exclusively in China and Taiwan. Oolong teas can vary dramatically in flavor due to different lengths of oxidation. Lighter oolongs offer a delicate, sweet flavor while darker oolongs are more robust and earthy. The teas are often sold in rolled balls and pearls that unfurl during steeping. This adds a visually pleasing dimension to brewing iced tea.
Popular flavors include Taiwanese Bai Ho, which features crisp and fruity flavors as well as Chinese Da Hong Pao, which is earthy. Another popular iced tea favorite is Tung Ting, which offers a smooth, nutty taste,
9. Peach Tea
A classic Southern favorite in many American households, iced peach tea is a delicious way to cool off in the summertime. From New York to Louisiana, this ice tea is a staple at garden parties and summer events.
Add thin slices of ripe peaches to a saucepan and combine with sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Use a spoon to smash the peaches in the boiling water and release more flavor. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, brew a base tea such as white tea or black tea and allow to cool.
Combine the peaches and tea into a large pitcher and store in the refrigerator for a few hours. Serve in large glasses with ice cubes or crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of peach or a mint leaf.
Sip Your Way Into Summer
Whether you're looking for fruity flavors or earthy notes, great iced tea is easy to brew using loose tea. The sky's the limit when it comes to making iced tea. Go crazy and experiment with flavors and blend fruits, herbs, and spices into your tea mixture. The best teas come out of experimentation.
If you're looking for the perfect iced tea recipe using tea bags, check out our guide on how to brew iced tea 4 different ways. You'll find recipes for sweet tea, fruit-infused teas, and a sweet vanilla option. Cold brew tea today or make iced tea the old fashioned way and sip your way into summer.
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