In the summer, I like to review teas that make good iced tea. It’s a nice warm July in Maryland as I write this, and the temperature is in the high nineties, with a heat index in the hundreds. (For those of you in other places, that’s a temperature of 35 degrees C, with the added humidity making it feel like 37 or so.) So I am drinking a LOT of iced tea. And since I am somewhat sensitive to caffeine, I can’t drink regular caffeinated teas after about 5 in the afternoon, and not even decaf Black Tea by 7 p.m. or so. Therefore, I make iced tea out of a lot of herbal teas.
This one is one of my favorites. I prefer the taste of green Rooibos over red rooibos even in hot teas – it’s just a fresher sort of taste to me, not as sweet, and therefore not as cloying to my tastebuds. Also, since it’s not as sweet as red rooibos, it’s easier to add a bit of real sugar to the tea to bring out the added flavors, in this case a combination of several of my favorite fruits. Especially when tea is iced, sugar helps to bring out fruit flavors that might otherwise be muted – just a pinch of sugar, for me, though you might prefer a whole spoonful since the green rooibos is somewhat sharper than the red.
This tea tastes quite nice hot, but even better iced. The taste is a little bit like a Green Tea (green real tea, that is, rather than herbal) and the fruit flavors complement the rooibos well. Of the fruits, the peach flavor is the most noticeable to me.
I always make my iced teas fresh, by brewing hot tea and pouring it over ice, rather than steeping it in cold water for longer periods. Especially for rooibos rather than black or green tea, cold steeping or sun steeping just does not bring out the flavor the way hot water does.
Adagio Teas describes this tea as:
Light bodied with a natural subtle sweetness, green rooibos plays well with a variety of flavors. This summer fruit inspired blend of organic green rooibos with peaches, strawberries and citrus is juicy, nectar-like and supremely refreshing. This “palate pretty” medley of flavors is muy delicioso; hot or iced and naturally caffeine-free.
… blended with green rooibos tea, orange peels, marigold flowers, strawberries, natural peach flavor, natural strawberry flavor and natural orange flavor
The instructions for this tea say to brew it at 212 degrees (boiling water) for 5 minutes, and I’d recommend even a bit longer if you are going to turn it into iced tea, to make sure the fruit flavors are strong.
For an extra bit of sweetness and flavor, if you normally squeeze a slice of lemon into your iced tea and then toss in the slice, try a slice of orange instead. You can also drop in slices of frozen peaches in place of some of the ice!
This tea also comes in pyramid-shaped nylon mesh tea bags; though I haven’t tried the bags myself, since mesh bags let water through at least as well as an infuser, I’m guessing that the taste would be the same. The price per cup would be more than the loose tea, but the convenience might make it worthwhile, especially if you’re brewing a late-night cup, where the less work and the less cleanup, the better.