5 exceptional ice tea recipes

5 exceptional ice tea recipes


Tea helps to relieve thirst and to make up for the loss of mineral salts and vitamins. Especially good are soft drinks based on black, green, red tea, karkade, and oolong tea. An essential condition for their preparation is a high-quality tea. As a rule, this is loose leaf tea, rather than teabags. When infusing, the leaves should not stay in hot water longer than recommended, as they emit tannins making the tea taste somewhat bitterish.

The distinctive iced tea flavor is ensured by additives: spices, herbs, berries and fruit. Their combinations produce extremely interesting drinks. You will not be mistaken if you ‘marry’ mint leaves in your tea infuser with cardamom, ginger or black pepper. Melissa makes a great match with lemon, lime, lemongrass and honey. Spices are especially good in black and red tea, while fruit and berries fit well with green tea.

An excellent invigorant drink can be made, for example, of green tea, basil and watermelon. Basil will contribute spicy notes to the iced tea, and watermelon pulp will ensure freshness and a pleasant sweetness. Green tea, strawberries and lemon juice are also a exceptionally good mix.  The beverage will be refreshing and fairly sweet. In addition to being delicious and very refreshing, iced tea is also very healthy, due to high content of ethereal oils, flavonoids, mineral salts and vitamins.

You can drink iced tea, especially its black and red species, with milk, which is better to be served separately and be mixed with your beverage right before consummation.

A traditional component of any refreshment is ice. It helps to quickly lower the tea temperature, and, most importantly, to keep it chilled for a long time. Tea can be served with ice rocks (cubes), crushed (broken into small pieces) or milled ice.

Milled and crushed ice will chill your drink practically immediately and to the lowest temperature, however it melts quickly. This can be used to give an additional chill and slightly dilute your beverage, when it is already cool enough and too concentrated, while the best option for iced tea are ice rocks. They chill efficiently, do not melt too fast, and, unlike other options, the tea is not diluted too much with water.  It should be noted that any ice dilutes your tea to a certain extent, therefore the infusion to be use for iced tea should be quite strong.

The glass should be filled with ice for about 1/2 to 3/4. If you put too little ice, chilling will be slow and inefficient, while if you put too much, the drink will turn watery.

If you prefer to chill your tea in a fridge or in a deep freeze, wait for it to cool down completely before placing it there, otherwise the tea will get blurred, with its taste deteriorated.

Iced tea is usually served in transparent jugs and, unlike ordinary tea, poured into glasses rather than teacups, that can be decorated with berries and fruit pieces, rather than teacups.

Below are a few original iced tea recipes, that your can try at home.

'Best' Tea

Ingredients: 4 glasses water, 4 teaspoons loose tea (black or red), 1 teaspoon mint (dried or fresh), 1/4 teaspoon cardamom, 2 ground black pepper grains, 40 g sugar, 2 g ginger (crushed, fresh).

Directions: Pour the water into a small saucepan and boil it. Add cardamom, mint, black pepper, crushed ginger and cook until the water gets taste and aroma. Add loose tea and sugar and cook another 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and chill it down. Serve with ice cubes.

Mapenzi tea

Ingredients: 2 liters water, 1 teaspoon loose leaf tea (black, red), 5 lemongrass stems with leaves, 1/2 bunch fresh mint, 1 lemon or lime, 1 small fresh ginger root, 5 tablespoons honey.

Directions: Separate the lemongrass leaves from stems. Grate the lemongrass stem, tie its leaves with a kitchen rope and put away both ingredients for now. Peel and wash the ginger, then crush it in a mortar. Wash lime or lemon and cut it into small pieces. Pour the water into a small saucepan, place it on heat and bring it to a boil. Add all ingredients except honey into the saucepan with boiling water. Reduce the heat and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it for 5 minutes, covered with a lid. Strain the tea, add honey and stir well. Chill the ready tea in a refrigerator for 2 hours.

Summer berry tea

(By Eugenia Yarchenko, tea chef)

Ingredients: 2 teaspoons green Kenyan tea, 200 grams fresh strawberries, 1/4 glass freshly squeezed lemon juice, 400 ml hot water, 1/2 glass cold water, 1/3 glass sugar, 1 glass ice cubes.

Directions: Bring the water to a boil. Pour hot water in any large reservoir and leave it to cool for 5 to 7 minutes, to get the tea temperature lowered to 70 to 85 degrees. Put 2 teaspoons of green tea leaves into the teapot, pour in the cooled water and let it infuse for 5 minutes. Then let the beverage cool down to room temperature. Take a bowl, put in fresh strawberries, add sugar and mash with a fork until the mass is homogeneous. Take a small pot, pour in 1/2 glass of water, add the strawberry and sugar  puree and bring it to a boil on a high heat, while stirring. Take a jug and pour the chilled tea into it, add the strawberry puree, stir. If you do not really like the pulp, you can use a sieve to separate the strawberry juice from the mashed strawberries. Pour lemon juice on top and stir again. Add ice cubes before serving.

Watermelon tea with basil

(By Eugenia Yarchenko, tea chef)

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon black Kenyan tea, 400 ml hot water, 1/6 part watermelon pulp, 1 small bunch of fresh basil, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4  glass lemon juice, 1 glass ice cubes.

Directions: Bring the water to a boil. Pour boiling water into a teapot and let it sit for 2 minutes to warm the teapot up. Then pour the water out of the teapot. Put 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea into the teapot, top with basil leaves, pour boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir and let the drink infuse for 5 minutes. Then cool it down to room temperature.  Take the watermelon pulp, separate it from seeds and cut into cubes. Put the watermelon pieces in a bowl, add lemon juice and use a blender to make a puree. Take a jug, put in the watermelon puree. Pour the chilled tea on top, stir well. Serve on ice.

Mint fizz

(By Sergey Suslin, bar-manager of Totoro restaurant)

Ingredients: 40 ml mint tea, 40 ml Melon Calpis (a Japanese drink), 40 ml lychee puree, 5 ml lemon juice, 10 g lychee fruit, 100 ml water, 2 g lemongrass, ice cubes.

Directions: Put the ice into a glass, pour the tea, Calpis, juice, puree, water and stir well. Decorate with lychee and lemongrass.

Photo: JV.ru

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