Ice, Ice baby; it's Iced Tea Season.
Ice is arguably the most important ingredient in making iced tea. The perfect tall glass of tea consists of: cold brewed Tea People loose leaf (made in the fridge, chilled), poured over the perfect amount of ice. To us, the perfect kind of ice, is just like the perfect steep, it’s up to your own palate, but we do have some fun suggestions for you to try.
First, there's the decision of what kind of ice to use:
Types of ice matter because of the dilution rate. More traditional ice cubes will dilute a drink faster because more ice equals more surface area through which ice can absorb heat.
More small ice cubes = faster melt rate.
That's why big squares and Japanese round globes of ice are becoming increasingly more popular (also fun, aesthetically pleasing, and cool) to use.
Ice cubes are a really cool way to experiment with the flavor profiles of your tea. Ice doesn't just cool down or dilute a steep, but it can also be a source of deeper flavor.
Try for example making a giant cube of ice with cold brewed tea itself, that way when it dissolves, you're essentially just making you steep stronger. You can even blend different teas together! Our Tea Geek, Ken Kawachi, suggests brewing Genmaicha and Chamomile Mint together. Another favorite is cold brewed Jasmine Green with a cube of Muscat Oolong: The Jazz-Cat!
You can also use ice as a vehicle for sweetening your drinks. When making cubes, mix in some agave, honey, cane sugar, or even jam, that way when you're enjoying a cup of iced tea in the heat, your drink will turn from rehydrating and refreshing, to refreshingly sweet! This method is particularly great for large batches of iced tea too, think BBQ's and summer time pool parties!
Check out our new Iced Tea page for more tips on teas to try iced and recipes!