Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hot Tea Vs. Iced Tea

Because the season comes so early in my part of the world, I've been drinking iced tea for a while now. One of the things I've noticed is that a tea I don't like much hot can be quite nice if it's chilled.

Most recently I found this to be the case with a loose-leaf English Breakfast blend I got from the bulk bin at a local natural food store. Served hot, it bordered on undrinkable. After I chilled it, it was surprisingly good. Ditto for the Ceylon I picked up at the same place. I have yet to run across a Ceylon I like to drink hot, but this one worked out okay in iced form.

On the herbal front, I have to admit that I've never been bowled over by rooibos, at least not when it's served hot. As an iced tea, I drink quite a lot of it everyday.

Of course, a tea that is good hot might also make a good iced tea. For example, there's Archer Farms (Target's store brand) Golden Breakfast, a surprisingly yummy loose-leaf Yunnan. Served hot, it's good most of the time, but in iced form it's almost always a winner.

As you can see, the bulk of my efforts have been focused on the more robust teas thus far. I have yet to really experiment with iced white, oolong or green, though I've had a few commercially made ones of these that were unsweetened and were very good.

The moral of the story, at least for me, is that if you're not really in love with a hot tea, try drinking it cold before getting rid of it or letting it drift to the back of the tea cabinet.

shop for tea books.

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njm said...

I agree wholeheartedly! I'm trying to convert my husband to the world of tea. Iced tea may be the only way!

~~louise~~ said...

Just popped in search of National Iced Tea Day links (10th). What an informative, comfortable place to drop in for a "cuppa."

I am by no means a connoisseur of tea (which you seem to be) so thanks for not making me feel inferior or stuffy.

Great post/blog.

Kim said...

Hey. Do you know anything about the benefits of hot tea vs. iced tea? Like does chilling tea reduce the antioxidants or anything? I don't much like hot tea (unless it's got a ton of sugar which defeats the purpose), but I do enjoy iced tea. I'd like to try making my own instead of buying it premade. Will I be getting the same benefits as I would if I drank it hot? Thanks.