Flavored Iced Tea
Making iced tea with quality loose leaf Taiwan Tea is the definition of gourmet-made-easy! And while pure tea flavors are amazingly satisfying and refreshing on their own, sometimes it's also nice to mix it up with some natural flavorings. Below are some of our suggestions on how to flavor your iced tea to give it a different twist.
Basic Iced Tea
As we talked about in our iced tea recipes post, it's really a 1-2-3 step process to make a delicious, refreshing and healthy iced tea. The only thing you need to step up your iced tea making to gourmet level is a cocktail shaker or a blender device. You brew the tea hot, chill it, and shake it up with ice cubes.
You can add any flavoring into the shaker along with the tea before shaking it up. We mostly keep it very simple with our mixer options, using ingredients that are available at your local market.
Sweetened Iced Tea
One of the most basic things you can do with your iced tea is sweeten it. For sweeteners, we go for either honey or brown sugar. Of course any other sugar derivative or syrup is also an equally valid option. Honey adds some floral complexity, while brown sugar adds a touch of maltiness. Start off first with just a little bit of your sweetener of choice. Do a quick taste test using the cap of the cocktail shaker before adding more. Just a hint of sweetness is all you need to enhance the original tea flavor.
Tangy Iced Tea
In addition to sweeteners, or as an alternative, you can add fruit flavors. Lemon, grapefruit, and passionfruit are a few of the most popular choices here in Taiwan — the origin of shaken iced tea. Simply add a minimal amount of juice directly into the shaker before shaking.
A great way to prepare in advance is to put your fruit juice of choice into an ice cube tray and freeze it. Add one ice cube of the frozen juice per serving to the shaker with the regular ice. This allows you to have your favorite fruit flavor on hand anytime, without the hassle of having to squeeze it.
One of the joys of brewing and mixing your own iced tea is that you can play around with the ingredients and proportions to get just the right taste! You can reach your own desired results with just a few tries. But generally, we encourage minimal amounts of flavoring in order to preserve the innate complexity of flavors in the tea, and enhance them with just a touch of sweetness, tanginess, or both. Adding just a barely noticeable amount keeps the natural complexity of a quality loose leaf tea intact, while making it a bit more interesting with a splash of your favorite mixer flavors!
If you want to try your hand at making iced tea, check out our recommended list of teas that are perfect for making that refreshing, icy cold glass of iced tea.
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