Summer Tea All Year Round
In India, there’s never a shortage of hot days and they certainly play a number on each one of us. At times like these, all we wish to do is reach out for something that can cool and refresh us from within.
Infused teas, which may be such a blessing in the winter months, what with the warmth they impart, may be just as great in the summer months, when they may be brewed cold. Here are some great ways to get through these summer months on a delicious refreshing note.
Sun-brew your tea
Did you know that you can actually set of jar of water, with your favourite tea and some flavouring ingredients in the sun and create a gorgeous brew for yourself? Some tips you need to keep in mind though, for your sun tea.
- Use black teas as these bring in some delicious roasted flavours that are so classically summer.
- Use glass jars and not plastic to do your brewing. This brings down the chances of bacteria coming in the way of your brewing.
- Use only filtered water to make your tea.
- Place your jar where there is uninterrupted sunlight for at least 3 to 4 hours at a stretch. Brew your tea for a minimum of 3 hours and not more than 5 hours.
- Throw in a few slices of lime or orange into your brew for some infused flavours
- Prepare a sweetener solution for your tea, if you prefer to use it. Pour it into the cup when you are going to serve your tea.
The teas you prepare this way will actually vary in taste from when they are made over the fire.
Tea Infusions with Herbs
You may prepare infused teas in two ways – in a saucepan over the fire and then set it aside to cool or by allowing the tea to infuse in the refrigerator with all the ingredients. This will be an overnight process but worth the wait. There are a range of combinations that you may consider this summer for your herbal teas.
Chamomile and mint, herbal combinations work really well together in a tea. A mix of lemon herbs – lemongrass and lemon verbena for example also go together well. You could also try using a lemon herb with peppermint, hibiscus mint or rosemary.
With green tea being on the top of the list for most tea drinkers, there are a few combinations you may think of trying as well. Green tea goes extremely well with lavender or mint in the brew.
Tea Infusions with Fruits
There are a whole range of fruits that you may consider adding to your tea. Apple, orange and lemon are the most popular choices when it comes to tea infused recipes. You may also consider adding frozen ice cubes with pieces of fruit in them. Almost every kind of berry works amazingly well when added to brewed tea – choose from strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. Kiwis too, make a great addition.
There are so many interesting combinations of infused teas you could try this summer. Seeing how the summer months seem interminable, each day may be dedicated to a new tea experiment.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
Whether a strong tea, light, extra sugar or simple black, every person has their own preference while drinking their perfect cup of tea. But is it that easy to brew one? Here are a few tips that will make this task a breeze.
Known to be more oxidized (a process that turns the leaves darker) than oolong, white and green tea, black tea is known for its strong flavour and brisk texture. Often it can be enjoyed alone, but milk and sweetener can be added if desired.
Temperature: 98 – 100 degree Celsius
Steeping Time: 2 to 3 minutes
Oolong tea is either rolled into long curly leaves or wrap into small beads, each with a tail. Based on its oxidization, the flavour may vary between sweet and fruity liquor with honey aroma, woody and thick with roasted aroma, or green and fresh with floral aroma.
Temperature: 85 – 100 degree Celsius
Steeping Time: 3 minutes
Its Chinese origin backed by considerable health benefits make green tea’s popularity a much deserved one. It goes through low processing and retains antioxidants and minerals. Ranging between a pale to bright lime green in colour, these tea leaves have a mildly grassy flavour with a nutty roasted finish.
Temperature: 70 – 80 degree Celsius
Steeping Time: 45 seconds to 1 minute
Tisane or popularly known as herbal tea, dates back to the ancient Egyptian era. In China, this majestic blend of herbs, spices and tea leaves is known as Liang Cha. With no caffeine content, the infusion has a strong yet bouquet aroma with hints of flavour derived from its mix of chamomile, berries, ginger, fruits, spices and so on.
Temperature: 80 – 110 degree Celsius
Steeping Time: 5 to 6 minutes
A rare infusion, white tea is harvested by hand and made from the first-plucked delicate buds in the month of March and early April. These tea leaves are only available few days a year and brew into a mild flavoured tea with sweet notes of melon or honey. It is primarily harvested in China with minimalistic processing that helps preserve healthy level of antioxidants.
Temperature: 80 – 85 degree Celsius
Steeping Time: 4 to 5 minutes
Understanding Tea Flavourings & Pairings
Macaroon, biscuits or chocolates? Pairing food that complements your perfect cup of tea can be a task to reckon with.
Harmonizing the right food with the right tea is simply an art of understanding humble and exotic ingredients and how they will enrich the flavour of that warm cup of tea.
Black Tea with rich flavours
Smoky, earthy, full bodied and robust: black tea has a very distinct and peculiar flavour that can work well with various foods. The thumb rule to follow while pairing black tea is to match its strong and full flavour with a heavy dish. Our sweet and citrusy Blood Orange Tea easily marries the denseness of a cheesecake. While the classic and old fashioned Earl Grey can be sipped along with spicy meats. And if you are a fan of the finest and most aromatic Ceylon black tea- Dimbula then pair it with seafood delicately flavoured with mild spices.
Green Tea with chicken and seafood
While thinking of green tea, simmer down a heavy, hearty meal with its earthy, light texture and grassy flavour. Go by the principle of pairing Green Tea with chicken and seafood. Our Snowy Shan’s strong and tart flavour pairs brilliantly with juicy chicken dishes. Dumplings can make for a perfect match with our finest and most exquisite Jasmine Pearl while bits of soft brie cheese can be picked with grassy and strong toasty finish of our Dragon Well tea.
White Tea with lightly flavoured foods
The rare white tea with its subtle flavours must be paired with delicate and light food. These tea leaves are harvested at a younger age possessing natural sweetness. Our finest delicate Silver White Needle is a divine liquid with a smooth and luxurious texture that goes with its silky-sweet aftertaste. Grab a light salad with no dressing or a simple sandwich to nibble with its soft citrus undertones.
Oolong Tea with savoury flavours
Oolongs are known for its complex flavour and strong perfume. To match its floral undertones, serve lighter oolongs with salty savoury food seafood such as lightly done scallops, rich salmon or even a poached lobster. While darker oolong’s velvety smooth textures goes brilliantly well with smoked meat or meat-based appetizers. Keep a variation of salty and savoury appetizers and let your guests chose what’s best.
Herbal Tea with fruity desserts
A concoction of herbs, spices and tea leaves, herbal tea is as healthy and refreshing as it gets. The aromatic brew with hints of infused herbs pair up amazingly well with fruit based desserts. Nibble on some pistachio cake or a delicious baklava. You can also pair it with a lemon tea cake at an afternoon tea party.