52teas said

New Iced Tea Series from 52teas and a Question...

Please check out our new Iced Tea Series: http://52teas.com/2011/05/18/iced-tea-series/

If these go well, we might do another series later.

Question: Why do you think specialty teas are not as popular in the warmer months? Do people not drink iced tea? (I know better—MORE people drink iced tea than hot at least in the US). Do the specialty tea drinkers not think their iced tea should be as awesome as their hot teas? I would love to hear your thoughts.

48 Replies

I personally drink hot and iced tea through out the year everyday. Basically that is my main source of water.

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Uniquity said

I know I’m the exception to the rule but I don’t really like iced tea..I would rather have warm (or hot) tea…or even room temperature, but I don’t really like it cold, even in summer. Honestly, when I do have the odd cup of “iced tea”, I do NOT want to use my beloved loose leaf for it. Some powder from a Nestea tin is more the way I’m likely to go.

Cofftea said

I feel that way about literal iced tea- because plain iced dilutes it and tea cubes are just too time consuming (I want tea now lol). I drink refrigerated tea- no ice.

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Ottawa Tea said

No ice at work where most of my tea consumption happens. However, I still do drink tonnes o’tea in summer. A hot drink on a hot day and all.

I suggest blending a kick ass iced tea blend for summer – oops, should read your post more carefully! Checking it out now.

Cofftea said

I think, for the purpose of this question, iced tea could be a term used for cold (i.e. refrigerated) tea in general. I drink lots of cold tea- but hardly any actually iced.

Ottawa Tea said

Yes (I’m not stupid – I do have a doctorate and all), but I like making mine a cup at a time…can’t store much in the fridge at work and I drink about a cup every hour and a half! Making fresh iced tea is all that would really work.

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I died a little out of happiness when I saw this thread.

I am a big iced tea fan. A lot of this has to do with living in the Southeastern US, land of ridiculously over-sweetened tea (not knocking sweet tea – in fact, I drink each cup with around 1 tsp. of sugar, but restaurants easily put in about 2 cups of sugar per gallon of tea down here. That’s 1/4 cup sugar per 8 oz. tea. That’s also syrup, and not a beverage. But I digress.) Since the weather here tends to verge on the humid and sweltering for 1/3 (if not more) of the year, I would say I definitely drink more iced than hot tea.

I am having a hard time drinking iced loose leaf tea, though. Mostly because it’s expensive and since you make it in batches, you have to 1.) be patient, 2.) plan ahead, and 3.) know how you like it hot beforehand so you have a good idea of the parameters (at least, that’s been my experience). I like resteeping my loose leaf but it’s kind of hard to go through a gallon of tea in time to reuse that leaf – and 30 grams of tea is a WHOLE lot of leaf for you to only use once. I think that once I figure out a way to maximize steeping (I’m working with my Breville on this!), and get some more disposable income, I will be getting a bunch more adventurous with my iced tea making.

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Jillian said

It depends on what you mean by ‘specialty’, I suppose. I tends to prefer spicier teas such as chais in the winter and fruit-flavoured teas in the summer (iced or otherwise).

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VegTea said

I think the iced tea flavors look delicious.

I think your average “recreational” tea drinker (not necessarily someone who would be on Steepster) drinks more soda, lemonade, etc during the summer — things that are more “instant” than iced tea (for when you’re thirsty NOW). Sure, you could make a big pitcher of iced tea and keep it in the fridge, but not many people I know do that on a regular basis. My parents always used to drink instant iced tea in the summer. It’s passable, but it doesn’t hold a candle to freshly brewed — convenience is probably winning over quality.

Also, it might help to think about this the opposite way – why are specialty tea sales higher in the winter? Holiday gift giving, hot tea is warm and comforting when it’s cold outside…

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Cofftea said

PRICKLY PEAR! PRICKLY PEAR! PRICKLY PEAR! PRICKLY PEAR! PRICKLY PEAR! …er… um…. ahem… ok… I’m done now. But seriously- I’ve been looking for a prickly pear cactus tea for almost exactly 3 years! As for your question, I don’t think people drink less tea in the summer, but I think people are most likely to drink “good” tea (high quality loose leaf) in the winter months when it’s cooler and then drink sweet (likely instant) tea in the summer. I know lots of people that drink their hot tea unsweetened… iced, not so much.

52teas said

Funny you should say that about the prickly pear. I’ve had a small sample of prickly pear flavoring for a while now, but I didn’t use it because I didn’t have any “bits” to blend into it. I think with the exception of the pina colada, you’ll find that all of the teas in this series are ones that I could flavor, but didn’t have extra bits of dried fruit or other extras to add to the tea.

Cofftea said

What about pieces of the cactus itself (save the pricklys)? Dried flowers?

52teas said

Not sure where I would get the cactus pieces, or if it would be safe to ingest. Anyway, this was all of the Prickly Pear flavoring I had, so when this is gone, that will be the end of it.

Cofftea said

Well, they wouldn’t be ingested, they’d be steeped and decanted with the leaves.

52teas said

I hear you, but I still don’t take any chances when it comes to my customer’s health. But speaking of weird additives: I have worms en route to my office for our upcoming Tequila Tea. :))

Here in Southern CA, you can find MANY grocery stores that sell cactus (all spines removed); it is a common Latin American dish – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal
You could easily and safely add dried nopal to a tea to make it… you might be able to find dried prickly pear somewhere too, but that might be more difficult.

52teas said

Cool! Thanks for the heads up. I’m not exactly in cactus country out here in Wichita, KS. I had no idea.

Cofftea said

Can you please explain why you’d but a worm in tea and yet be hesitant to put real cactus in it? (P.S. Please don’t read a rude tone into this- I’m honestly just really confused lol)

Cofftea said

Oh and since we’re talking tequila, I might mention that the first (and only) prickly pear item I had was a prickly pear margarita. (hint, hint). Also asked the bar tender to mix the prickly pear puree with the cucumber margarita on the menu and make it w/ chili pepper tequila instead of regular. The waitress thought it was so unique that she gave me the employee discount on it! :) A margarita series would be PERFECT for summer and I’d love to see prickly pear and cucumber margarita blends.

52teas said

Well, I didn’t know about the cactus, but the worms I’m getting are the ones they put in the lollipops that people eat. I triple checked to make sure they were okay for consumption and the lady told me that they are selling more and more of them to people who want to cook with them.

I’ll have to think on those other blend ideas. I did mention I am now out of prickly pear flavoring. But, we’ll see.

Cofftea said

I still think people would be more likely to eat cactus which is a plant vs a worm, but that’s just me. :) Yes, I do realize you’re out- but I’m hoping you’ll re-order. :)

VegTea said

Sorry, but the worm thing is just gross (and not vegetarian). Just make sure worms don’t creep into any of your other flavors! ;)

52teas said

No worms in anything else. This is just for this one ManTeas blend.

That reminds me though. I have blended more of the Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha, in vegan form this time with the actual marshmallow plant rather than marshmallows. I need to get the website updated with that.

You’re welcome! Hope you can find some bits…

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I don’t know that I could handle a worm in my tea, so I guess its good that I can pass up a tequila flavored tea with little regret.

However, Frank, I do have an idea for a tea flavor. Last night I enjoyed a lollipop that was “Classic Wedding Cake” (aka royal wedding cake, aka fruitcake) inspired. It was vanilla, apricot, date, orange peel, pecans, almonds, cinnamon, ginger and brandy. And… it was amazing. A – Maz – ing!

Here’s a link to the lollipop listing: http://www.etsy.com/listing/64674575/classic-wedding-cake-lollipops

I think you should make a black tea inspired by these flavors. Or maybe a white tea… Anyways… yes, yes, this should be an upcoming project for you. Perhaps a good holiday tea?

Oh… and PS: Grapefruit and Rosemary flavored tea would be good too. :) This one should be a green tea.

52teas said

Wow. That’s an awful lot of flavors. Sounds interesting though. I’ll have to see what I can do.

See, I can do grapefruit too, but I have no dried grapefruit to put in it. I’ll see what I can do there too.

I am somewhat sorry to report that we just SOLD OUT (in one fell swoop) of our Black Currant Rooibos. I don’t think I sold a single pouch to anyone other than our subscribers. But one of our subscribers enjoyed it so much, he asked me to sell him all of the remaining inventory (29 pouches!). I guess you snooze, you lose, but it’s kind of sad that so few people will be able to try it (though if I know this customer, he will probably share some of his with his clients).

Cofftea said

HOLY CRAP- That’s 3.6 lb! I think occasion calls for a reblend and/or having it a permanent offering!

52teas said

Not if he’s the only one interested. I think his 29 pouches might just last him a little while. :)

Cofftea said

Oh no, I meant a re-blend so the rest of us get a chance lol.

Frank, I was actually planning on ordering a pouch with the order I just placed this morning… but, oh well. I don’t feel a great sense of loss, so don’t go reblending it on my account. If there is more interest in it, then sure, I’d be interested in a pouch.

52teas said

I kind of feel a little guilty about it going so fast, particularly since, the guy who bought all of it is a local subscriber. I had a meeting with him a couple of weeks ago, and to save postage, I brought him several weeks of tea that I had ready. So he has been drinking it for two weeks now and said he was completely out and that it was one of his most favorite blends and could he have the rest. LOL.

My blend went fast too… do you feel guilty about that as well, or do you feel relieved? LOL

52teas said

Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit relieved. (Sorry.) But we’ll do another one sometime.

No worries. I’m actually surprised that you blended it at all, because it was a rather unusual blend. But I love it.

As far as the grapefruit goes, you might be able to find grapefruit peel… or if not, I would just use something like calendula petals or something. OR… if you really want to have some fun, you could get some of the grapefruit candy … like the sugar coated jelly candy… those tend to be a bit large, but, something like that would make an interesting addition to the grapefruit tea.

Cofftea said

You may be on to something w/ the candy. The sugar would melt and make a version of sweet tea.

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So excited for these teas. So very excited that I finally placed my first 52teas order!

I know that once the spring warmth starts to peek around the corner, I start to keep a jug of tea in my fridge. It used to be good, Southern sweet tea (which my Canadian in-laws mocked me endlessly for) but after discovering looseleaf over the winter, my jugs of tea have been looseleaf and delicious. We’ve cut out most all other drinks besides tea from our diet, so iced tea really hits the spot when I’m craving something light but flavorful. I am so looking forward to root beer tea! My mom used to keep sarsaparilla root in the pantry and we had “root beer” tea all the time, but that’s a story for another unnecessarily long comment >.>

Also, I’m totally behind this grapefruit idea.

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Ditto on the grapefruit idea. :)

I should point out that I’ll still drink plenty of hot tea in the summer… I never really opt for iced tea, and I thought about why. I try to drink more water, but plain water is so boring to me. So when those Crystal Light individual packages came out, I admit I got hooked. (In fact I’m drinking the raspberry green tea one right now, not that it really tastes all that much like green tea.) I love the cold brew concept as well; Culinary Teas’ new version rocks.

It’s not that I really believe making iced tea is a pain, but that’s what I tell myself on justifying the Crystal Light stuff. (I don’t mind artificial sweeteners and I know not everyone feels that way. That’s just how I feel.)

If 52teas would make some of their awesome blends cold brewable I would definitely give them a try.

Oh, and as for the candy tea idea, one of my grandmother’s favorite beverage recipes involves using a peppermint or cinnamon candy and letting it melt in hot tea. Actually using butterscotch candy with a plain black tea (or vanilla or vanilla chai!) is awesome.

Cofftea said

I do that w/ candy canes in the winter. :)

I always try to do that with candy canes, but I get too impatient and end up eating the candy cane! Like I said, I’ve got a sweet tooth. I’m sure I’ll end up as a self-made diabetic when I’m older.

Cofftea said

Haha I don’t have that problem because that’s the only way I like them is melted in beverages (I say beverages because I also like them melted in black coffee).

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