When the weather is hot, our needs in water are very high because we lose a lot of moisture and mineral salts. Iced tea is THE refreshing, hydrating, pleasant drink that also takes care of you, and this is the opportunity to make your own healthy, organic, calorie-free drinks with no added sugar and make the most of their antioxidant and detoxifying properties. Kids also love the delicious and fresh flavour of thirst-quenching iced teas. A lovely way to teach them to forget industrial bottled drinks which contain too much sugar and chemicals! With a few ice cubes to reduce the caffeine, a few slices of lemon to get their fill of vitamin C,they can take iced tea to school in a flask tand share it at breaktime!
In the 1800s, in South Carolina, there were many iced tea recipes on the cotton and rice plantations. But officially, iced tea was ""invented"" during the Saint-Louis Fair in Missouri in 1894, by Richard Blechynden who was then the director of the West Indies and a tea purveyor.
He had prepared hot tea for the visitors and noticed that no-one was drinking any in this very hot weather. He had the idea of cooling the mixture and served iced tea. It was a huge success. Since then, all over the world, iced tea has become the choice thirst-quenching enjoyable drink.
Iced tea in the world
In Taiwan, iced tea is drunk with milk, fruit and tapioca pearls and is known as bubble tea. Cha Yen is the Thai version of iced tea, often flavoured with spices and coconut milk. In Japon, they quench their thirst with mugi-cha, an iced tea made with cereals. In Vietnam, iced green tea, Trà đá is systematically offered with meals.
In Hong Kong and in China, they prepare Yuan Yang, iced tea with milk served with a little coffee. In Senegal and Egypt, karkadé, an infusion of hibiscus is drunk like an iced tea. In Indonesia, iced tea is flavoured with orange for es jeruk teh, or ginger for teh jahe.
What is the best way to prepare iced tea?
You might think that the quickest and simplest way would be to brew the tea in hot water, but this is not the case because when tea is heated it develops too much caffeine and becomes acrid as it cools. All purists agree that the best iced teas are made cold! At terre d’Oc, all our teas are formulated for cold infusion so that the taste of the whole tea leaves and the natural and organic flavours develop gently in cool water. All you need to do is put the tea in a bottle of water of a jug of water in the fridge in the evening and the next day all you have to do is filter it. For those of you who are in a hurry, a few hours (3 to 4) can also be sufficient to make a delicious iced tea!
The perfect iced tea recipe
Use a glass bottle with a wide neck or a jug with a lid, fill it with cold water at room temperature (if possible filtered to eliminate limescale and chlorine) and add the tea leaves - 5 teasponfuls to 1 litre of cold water. Leave up to 5 hours in the refrigerator, ideally for a whole night. Filter and pour back into the jug. With or without ice cubes, enjoy this refreshing and flavoursome organic drink. No need to add sugar as the flavours are deliciously sweet. If you really need sugar use a liquid sugar (cane sugar, organic agave syrup).
According to the ice tea you are preparing, you can add pieces of fresh organic fruit (vineyard peaches, strawberry, passionfruit), aromaatic herbs (mint, lemon balm) or sweet spices (vanilla, cinnamon).