Odd that this should be the first tea I review, because I haven’t had it in ages…
Let me start by saying that I’ve had phenomenally bad luck with iced teas. Either that, or iced tea is awful, and everyone who’s ever liked it is crazy. Which I’m perfectly willing to believe, because the only iced “tea” I’ve ever liked has been that stuff where you scoop the mix out of the container and add cold water.
I’ve tried icing teas at home, and every time I’ve attempted it, they were simply awful – bitter (suggesting I’d steeped them too long before icing) and strangely tasteless (suggesting I hadn’t steeped them long enough). Puzzling. I have been using Teaopia’s suggestion to steep “twice as strong” before icing, and to add sweetener before steeping, and still, they have come out weak and tasteless.
Believing this all to be my own error, I tried tea-to-go iced from the store. Wow. Bitter, tasteless and AWFUL! Blech! Who drinks this stuff?! Tea was clearly meant to be hot only!
Still, after listening to people continue to rave about how some teas are better iced, I’ve been feeling as though I’m missing something. So I decided tonight to try to ice this one. Since it is a fruit tea, I could hardly worry much about over-steeping…although I actually only steeped it for about 4 minutes because I got bored waiting for it. I used about 3 teaspoons, boiled the water just beforehand (which mean 85 degree water where I live) and made sure to add a ton of honey. Then, when I’d removed the infuser, I stuck it in the fridge to cool rather than icing it.
And maybe that’s the trick? Because when I pulled it out and tried it, it was actually, well, GOOD. The pineapple and coconut aren’t as distinct with the tea cold as they are warm, but that may be because I think I added too much honey (anticipating bitterness). That being the case, it’s quite difficult for me to give a fair review of the flavour, although I vaguely recall from drinking it months ago that the fruitiness of it was very strong in it hot. Perhaps I will write another review of it hot (my usual preference) shortly, so that I have an actual review of the tea up, rather than a review of the process of preparing it.
It was actually quite like drinking fruit juice, albeit with an underlying flavour to it that betrays it as a steeped drink and not juice – although once I realized that, I had the stunned realization that it had taken me an hour to make something that tastes like some sort of fruit juice, which I’d had to leave in the fridge beside the giant container of, um, fruit juice. Whoops. Seems a bit silly now. BUT, I may have hit upon a better way to make iced tea (leave it in the fridge to cool rather than icing it), so I may actually have to try to ice more teas in the future.