Not every tea makes an acceptable chilled (iced) tea. When cooled, some teas become bitter or just downright make your teeth hurt with every sip. Other teas cry out loudly for milk and sweetener but don’t taste good chilled, according to my personal experiments. Fear not, though. There are plenty of teas out there that fill the bill.
These are some teas I have tested during the past year that would, in my estimation, make great chilled teas:
- Bohemian Raspberry Green Tea — the raspberry enhances the flavor of the green tea, hot or chilled (generally speaking, teas with fruit flavor added taste good chilled)
- Buckingham Garden Party Tea — strong floral notes (rose, lilac) with a hint of citrus, always good in a chilled tea
- Chai Green Tea — the chilled tea conveys those wonderful spice (coriander, cardamom) aromas and flavors along with a grassy green teaness
- Cranberry Black Tea — tart, sweet, tangy, yet the black tea flavor comes through, and a bit of sweetener to taste is a nice touch
- Golden Moon Imperial Formosa Oolong — gives your chilled tea a slightly smoky and earthy quality
Then, there are chilled teas that go well with milk. Go with black Oolong tea or green Jasmine tea, since these teas are the basis for an Asian tea phenomenon called “bubble tea” or “pearl milk tea” (the “pearls” are chewy beads of tapioca) or in Chinese “zhen zhu nai cha”. Unfortunately, these drinks are heavy on milk and added flavors, so the tea taste gets lost. Some favorite flavors are almond, banana, berry, chocolate, coconut, coffee, grape, honeydew, lemon, mango, passionfruit, peach, pineapple, tropical fruit, and — gulp! — yam (taro) which was tasty in a hot tea I tried awhile back but is not one I’d think of using in a chilled tea. Drinking bubble tea is akin to drinking milkshakes, in terms of calories and health issues (calories, fat, etc.), so give these tea drinks the same consideration that you would a milkshake, that is, watch how much you indulge.
Don’t forget herbal tisanes, most of which taste good chilled as well as hot. A favorite for many is peppermint, helpful for digestion, headaches, and more. Tisanes made from black currant leaves are also tasty and healthy; just put some chopped leaves in a container and add boiling water, let steep, and then chill, or put some dried black currants in a pot of water, bring the water to a boil, and let stand for about a half hour.
These should give you a few ideas to get you started trying different teas chilled. I strongly recommend that you avoid ice and instead steep the teas hot and then chill overnight or steep using the cold method. Don’t let ice water down the taste of your tea. And select with care a nice treat to go with your tea, such as chilled melon and strawberries, maybe some McVitie’s Digestives, a slice of sunny yellow lemon meringue pie, or maybe a tasty fruit tart or two. Enjoy!
Much like iced tea, A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill, is cooler than the other side of the pillow.
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