With the Summer almost upon us, the thirst for a cool and refreshing drink is real! Drinking iced tea is more than refreshing: it’s revealing. Tasting a tea or herbal infusion at a cool temperature can unlock incredible flavors and aromas that aren't apparent in a hot cup. It's easy to make the best iced tea all summer long, so here is Basilur’s guide to brewing the perfect cup of Ceylon iced tea!
In its essence, all you need are a few high-quality ingredients:
- Water (we recommend purified water)
- Tea (we recommend high quality Ceylon loose black tea)
- A storage vessel
- A strainer
- A teaspoon
To begin brewing loose leaf tea, heat up your water to the corresponding temperature, depending on the tea used. Black tea generally responds better to hotter water, around 190-200 fahrenheit. If you decide to use a tea strainer, place it over your mug and place a full teaspoon of tea inside. Splash the leaves with hot water to allow them to begin opening up the flavor and aroma. Next, proceed to pour about 8 ounces of water over them and steep for two to five minutes, depending on your desired strength. Remember, the longer you steep, the stronger the flavour. Remove the strainer and discard the leaves. This is the most traditional form of brewing tea. In order to then make a cold brew, simply add the desired amount of ice, or refrigerate for three to to five hours prior to serving!
If you are looking to brew a single serving cup of iced tea, we recommend the hot brew method. To get the best results from the hot brew method, we suggest the use of a gaiwan.
A set of gaiwan porcelain
A gaiwan is a traditional tea brewing cup usually made out of porcelain or glass. A gaiwan set consists of a tea cup, lid, and saucer. To make your tea, rinse boiling water in the cup just to heat it, then discard the water. Place a teaspoon of tea inside, and add 8 ounces of water, and then allow to steep for desired strength.
When you’re ready to consume, grab the gaiwan, using your index finger to keep the lid on, and carefully pour into your cup or mug. You want the tea to pass out from under the lid, without the leaves toppling out! You can then proceed to add the desired amount of ice for the perfect cold brew.
A second technique you can utilise is the cold brew method. This method is the same as the above, except you utilise room temperature or cold water. To bring out more flavor, it is recommended you still splash the tea leaves with near-boiling water. Refrigerate after preparing and serve over ice for a refreshing cold brew!
Basilur Tea Master’s Tips for Iced Tea:
Ensure you always keep your tea at room temperature until ready to serve and then pour over ice to keep a consistent strength. If the brew is too strong, dilute with filtered water. If the brew is too weak, you can steep more tea leaves and add that tea concentrate. When in doubt, always swing towards making it stronger as you can always add more cool water.
We do not recommend storing your iced tea in the refrigerator for too long as it can become a bit cloudy. This, however, is an aesthetic preference, so if you don't mind your black tea becoming a bit cloudy in the fridge then you can store it in there. We recommend discarding any remaining iced tea at the end of the day to maintain freshness!
To make a sweetened iced tea, add a sweetener to the tea concentrate after steeping and before adding the cooler water. For black teas, we recommend cane sugar to produce that caramelized sugar flavor. For green teas, honey works best to add floral and vegetal notes.
If you are looking to share this information with your friends and family, we have an easy to follow recipe guideline that helps you make the perfect iced tea with Basilur’s Fruit Infusion collection every time!