It was warm last weekend here in Harrogate and it’s been great to be able to make full use of our south facing outside seating area – which gets the sun all day long when it’s out. It can sometimes get too hot for comfort though and rather than drink hot drinks we think people will want something cooler. To solve the problem we’ve been working on some new tea-based concoctions for just such an occasion.
With the help of our incredibly helpful ‘Tea Team’, Paul and Ann from The Tea Experience, we have been developing some cold brewed tea drinks. We hesitate to call them iced tea, because we aren’t planning to serve them over ice for fear of diluting the flavour, but they will be served chilled.
We were given 5 teas that Paul and Ann thought would suit iced tea. We also added Green Kombucha, which is very popular and smells so fantastic we were desperately hoping it might perform well under cold brew conditions. The teas from left to right were:
Strawberry and Kiwi
Ceylon Orange Pekoe
The idea of brewing the tea with cold water is to release the tea flavour but ideally without the tannins present giving too much astringency.
To brew the tea we steeped 6 tsp of tea in 4 teacups of cold water and left it at room temperature for 12 hours.
The results in the morning were surprisingly positive for a first attempt.
Assam: Stood out immediately as a robust tea with surprisingly low acidity whose taste would stand up to being paired with a fruit such as lemon or orange.
Tarocco Sunshine (Fruit infusion): Made primarily of blood oranges this infusion smelt fantastic and delivered a pleasant citrus flavour with a sharp tang that could be offset with liberal use of agave syrup for sweetening.
Strawberry Kiwi (Fruit infusion): Mellow and could be chilled down and drunk immediately.
Green Kombucha: Disappointingly poor taste.
Ceylon Orange Pekoe: More acidic and not as strong as the assam, would need to rethink the tea dose and brewing time.
Goji Berry: Pleasant enough but not a sufficiently strong taste to justify a place on the menu.
Assam, Tarocco Sunshine and Strawberry Kiwi are all in, the others didn’t make the grade on this test. We’re going to try testing with our Eygptian Mint tea and also with an assam/fresh mint blend. You can look forward to trying some of the teas in the cafe soon so we can get your opinion too.
Recipe – ‘Cool as a Cucumber’ Iced Tea (courtesy of ‘The Tea Experience’