Chinese Ice Tea
Although traditional Chinese tea is drunk hot, no matter the temperature outside, in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as developed cities in China, the convenience stores' refrigerators are filled with real and refreshing bottles of ice tea. What is more surprising is the fact that these are mainly natural products without sweeteners and harmful additives, because where the tea is high quality and appreciated, there is no reason to blur its original flavors with Unnecessary ingredients.
How to make Ice Tea at home
This summer we offer a series of wulong tea products and our hybrid Strainer Pot for 30-40% off, reminding in the same breath that they are all suitable for a traditional infusion of hot tea as well. The instructions for making ice tea at home are so simple that anyone can literally become an ice tea master overnight.
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Which Chinese Teas Are Suitable for Cold Brew?
Theoretically, natural ice tea can be made from any Camellia Sinensis tea leaves, meaning any original Chinese tea, by cold brew or by simply refrigerating the tea after it has cooled. The result can often be disappointing after we get a light drink that is closer to water than tea. So apart from the ancient method of "trial and error", there is a fairly simple principle that helps us recognize which tea leaves are more or less suitable to become Ice tea, rich in flavors and layers.
The main difference that separates hot tea from cold, apart from the temperature itself, is the steam that rise from hot tea and evaporates in the air and carry with them aromas, which humans translate into flavors. It means that if we block our noses while drinking hot tea, we can taste the "real" taste of the tea, as close as possible to its "steam-free" version when it becomes cold.
Ice Wulong Tea from Taiwan
Ingredients: tea leaves, water, Vitamin C
From our experience, dark tea leaves that have undergone a process of "increasing" flavors (nóng xiāng 浓香) by baking or roasting, are more suitable for brewing ice tea because they rely more on the extracted flavors of the leaves, and less on the aroma. Nevertheless, it does not mean that light and unbaked teas can't bring results that leaves you satisfied with.
It is important to remember that not every dark tea leaves goes through the same procedure. Red (black) tea leaves, for example, undergo a quick drying or heating procedure called firing, a procedure which isn't designed to strengthen the flavours of the leaves, but a final drying of the leaves before storage. Dark Wulong tea, on the other hand, undergoes a post-drying process of prolonged baking in bamboo containers over charcoal (tàn bèi 炭 焙), after the same leaves have undergone controlled oxidation whose main purpose was to "squeeze" as many flavors from the leaves as possible. The advanced procedure that Dark Wulong leaves go through makes them the perfect hybrid tea for a hot or cold infusion.
The Benefits of Chinese Ice Tea
Everything that is healthy in hot Chinese tea also applies to ice tea, except for the benefits of consuming hot drinks over cold ones in general. However, the use of high quality and original Wulong leaves has a lot of value. These are whole leaves that have been packaged and preserved according to the manufacturer's instructions, so that their extraction method is precise and rich in itself, in contrast to "instant" tea products that contain broken leaves that require the addition of sweeteners and other additives.