Here is the story behind my favorite iced tea. The other day a man was behind me in the supermarket. I was in the main department, surrounded by tall glasses with dried herbs, tea blends, spices and sea vegetables. The man asked about a mix of rose and green tea, and the young woman who oversaw the teas replied that she believed they had worn a mix of black tea and rose but not green tea and rose.
Green tea inspiration
Now I drink a good amount of green tea and found that the green tea with rose combination sounded particularly good. Imagining it was icy, I made a pitcher as soon as I got home from my trip to Tokyo with green tea, along with rose petals I had on hand. Brewed cold, accented with rose and a little coriander – it's a freshening up in warm weather.
Iced Green Tea Brewing Technique
A few notes on my brewing technique. It's a hybrid, mostly cold-brewed approach. I hit the leaves with a splash of hot (not boiling) water to wake the leaves up. This also extracts some of the healthy antioxidants from the tea leaves – direct cold brew (without splashing hot water) has less antioxidant activity. Count to 10 or so and then finish with cold water. This kills off the heat, keeps the extraction smooth and slow, and prevents it from boiling over or scalding. The difference between a cold brewed green tea and a hot brew is dramatic, both wonderful on their own, but for an iced tea like this, I prefer less veg / boiled notes.
The green tea I used is pictured below.
I use every green tea I have on hand, but I prefer certain types over others. When I make green iced tea, Japanese loose leaf sencha (above) is a favorite. The color is beautiful and it brews vividly, smoothly and cleanly. Enjoy! -H