Saturday, May 14, 2011

David's Teas... iced

Now that warmer weather is here, I'm setting aside the tea pot and trading it for a pitcher. Over the next few months I will continue to work my way through the David's Tea catalog, but I shall be making the teas iced rather than hot...

So as I try out a new iced tea, I will update the below list with the results. Pretty simple, yeah? Let's jump in:
  • 07/04/11 - Long Life Oolong: This has been one of my favorite hot teas since we discovered David's Tea, and I've been anxious to try it iced. It is extremely fragrant, with juicy bits of peach and apricot and can be steeped multiple times. In all honesty though, I didn't like it iced as much as I like it hot... the flavors that are so good in a hot cup of the tea end up sort of flat and underwhelming when it is iced. I made this one using the cold brew method, perhaps next time I'll try it hot and poured over ice... that may make a difference.
  • 06/30/11 - The Earl's Garden: Taking a step back from the flashy, fancy teas, I wanted to try a simpler black tea. This one is almost a normal Earl Grey tea with black tea and bergamot, but also with strawberries, raspberries and currants. I cold brewed this one so the flavor is quite subtle. A bit more tea or a hot brew may have been in order to make this one more robust; but with the juicy scent of the red berries as you go to take a sip, I actually enjoyed it being less than full-strength.
  • Organic Dreamsicle
  • 06/20/11 - Organic Dreamsicle: Leading up to the first official day of summer, we've had a stretch of lovely warm, sunny weather here lately. No humidex, no air conditioning, just light cotton clothes, a slight sheen of sweat and a mason jar of Dreamsicle. The smell of this stuff is so wonderful... the brightness of orange and a hint of sweetness, just like the creamsicle popsicle (hence the name). For me, at least, I don't think they could have captured a more perfectly summer-from-my-youth scent. This is a green tea with chocolate nibs in it, so I steeped it in hot water as you would a normal hot tea then let it cool and mixed it in with enough cool water to fill the pitcher and let it steep in the fridge overnight. The green tea does add a slight bitterness, but I found the sweetness of the tea balanced it just fine. This isn't an every day iced tea... but it is a wonderfully simple, heart-warming-and-body-cooling treat, perfect for a summer day.
  • 05/30/11 - Midsummer Night's Dream: After an unexpected (and unnecessary) argument with the super of our building this evening, I could have used a very large, very alcoholic drink. Instead, I dug into a pitcher of iced tea. (and may, possibly, have stomped around the apartment muttering very uncomplimentary things) While Stanley Tucci did not appear in my living room dressed as Puck, nor did the super turn into a donkey (darn it), I did manage to relax and turn my attention to something that was worth it. This tea is almost perfect, right out of the pitcher, no sweetener needed. Unlike the pretty pink color of the Pink Flamingo, this one was a slightly unsettling shade of bright yellow. The taste, however, is incredible. It is citrus-y, with a slight tingle from the mint and just the right touch of sweetness from the apple. The stars of this one, however, are the gooseberries... which probably also impart the bright yellow color (along with the marigold). Their flavor is bright and tart and summery. And it was *so* exactly what I needed.
  • Pink Flamingo
  • 05/14/11 - Pink Flamingo: All I can say is... wow. Part of their Spring Collection, it is a caffeine-free tea that is shockingly bright pink, as you can see. Hibiscus and beetroot give it the color, while there is also citrus, lemongrass and apple. The taste is more subtle than the color, to be sure, but it has a soft brightness about it. When it is brewed warm, I get a strong taste of the hibiscus that gives it color and the citrus comes out much more... but when iced, however, it mellows considerably. The citrus is still there, though more in scent than in taste. A sweetness from the apple and beet, and a tingly taste of the eucalyptus at the end. Reading the list of ingredients I thought they wouldn't go well together, but strangely enough they do. A very nice tea to make iced... the soft flavors compliment the bright color perfectly and it looks oh-so-pretty in your glass! This is a nice one to impress your guests with :)

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