For summer, oolong tea iced is the perfect drink to beat the heat. But if you want an iced tea that’s worth drinking, you need to know how to make it right. These 10 techniques will help you turn your average iced tea into a memorable one. So what are you waiting for? You’ve got some time before the sun sets!
First of all, let’s start with temperature. It can’t be too hot or too cold so when it comes out of the fridge or cooler, take a whiff and make sure it smells good enough without being overpowering in either direction. Next up is time for fasting and brew time.
1. The tea needs to have time to brew.
That’s fairly self-explanatory, but the most common mistake is brewing for too little of time. When the tea is left in too long, it loses water-soluble volatile compounds that makes the tea flavourful and fragrant. This can make the tea bitter and weaken its color, which should be a light brown color instead of reddish or yellowish.
On average, about two minutes for white teas (including pearl teas) and three minutes for green and black teas. The best way to check whether it’s brewed long enough is by smelling and tasting it as you go along.
2. The longer it’s in, the better it’ll taste.
The amount of time needed to brew the tea will depend on its strength. This means that a light green tea would need a shorter brew time than a strong black tea. Stronger teas also require more time to cool down before serving.
3. 3 grams of leaves for every 100 ml of water for green and white teas
4 grams for black and oolong teas
The amount of leaves per cup or pot will depend on the type of tea you’re making, but generally speaking, 3-4 grams of leaves is enough to make one cup or pot depending on its size (there are 200ml in one cup).
4. Water temperature
150-80℃ for green, oolong and white teas
60-90℃ for black tea
The water temperature depends on the types of tea you’re making. Green and white teas should go in at a slightly higher temperature than black and oolong teas. The reason behind this is that lower temperatures help maintain the fine, delicate flavour of an aromatic tea, warmth will bring out the roasted flavour of a darker one. For most teas in Taiwan, it’s recommended that you start checking after three to four minutes once the water hits 80℃ or 160℃ for half-boiled water (or if you’re using a stovetop brewer).
If you want to “turn off” the heat, let the tea rest in the pot after it has been brewed. Depending on the type of tea you’re making, it’s best to wait for about three to five minutes or until the leaves have sunk and a good-sized amount of tea has gathered at the bottom of your pot.
6. Store iced teas in a refrigerator.
To keep ice cold, place your pots or cups in a refrigerator at least half an hour before serving. This way, the tea can chill faster. However, don’t let them sit there for too long or they’ll become watered down.
7. Serve iced teas while they’re still cold without diluting them with ice cubes.
The flavor of the tea won’t be strong enough if you put cubes in it, and it will also dilute it a little too much. Ideally, serve iced teas as soon as possible after making it to keep its fragrance intact.
8. Lemon and rose
Put lemon and/or rose syrup into your iced teas instead of sugar because sugar will change its color and affect the taste of your tea. You might also want to put jasmine or rock sugar into your tea if it’s a strongly fragrant one, but make sure the teas are already cold before you pour the syrup in.
9. Don’t use hot water to dilute your iced tea!
This is also a common mistake that is easy to do when you’re rushing through making a pot of iced tea. The hot water will turn the ice cubes into watered-down liquid too fast, and there goes all its flavor down the drain!
10. Add evaporated milk.
This is optional, but it’s a good idea if you want to bring out the sweetness of your tea. Drip coffee, on the other hand, will not mix very well with tea and is strongly recommended against!
● Keep your teas in the fridge, but don’t place them there for too long. If you’re making black or oolong tea to drink later, leave it at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.
● Never add hot water to iced teas.
● Use evaporated milk if you want sweetness in your black tea
● The amount of leaves will depend on the type of tea you’re making and the shape of your pot
● A light green tea would need a shorter brew time than a strong black one. Stronger teas also require more time to cool down before serving
● Cold water is recommended instead of boiling hot water.
As you can see, there’s more to making a good iced tea than just boiling some water. These 10 tips will help you create your very own iced tea masterpiece!