The drinks industry is aware of the marked increase in general consumer interest and demand for healthy food and drink, and lower sugar intake. Restaurants and bars are seeing a significant increase in demand for alcohol-free drinks, particularly during lunch time sittings and business meetings. In fact, research suggests that millennials drink far less alcohol than previous generations.
But does tea have its place on a summer drinks menu? After all, we traditionally think of tea as a hot drink – ideal for the colder autumn and winter months. But tea can also work well as a cool, refreshing summer drink, served over ice in a tall glass.
Kim Havelaar of Roqberry artisan teas says. “Most people find it more refreshing to drink tea without milk when it’s hot. For this reason, green teas and herbal infusions work particularly well. Also, green tea is brewed at a lower temperature (80 degrees) and will cool down quicker, if don’t want to wait!”
So which teas make the best summer brews?
Here are Kim’s top five recommendations:
- Lemon Verbena: A delicious herbal infusion of lemon verbena, lemongrass, apple and rosehip. Really refreshing on its own or served over ice with a slice of apple and a sprig of mint.
- Bloom Box: fancy something floral? Chamomile, Rose, Hibiscus and Pomegranate mingle beautifully for a glass full of summery notes. Serve chilled with fresh strawberries.
- Paradise Punch: a tropical inspired green tea mix with lemongrass, coconut, papaya and pineapple. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon or a stick of lemongrass.
- Melon Berry: A light green tea with sweet melon and raspberry flavours. serve over ice and with a wedge of melon.
- Citrus Grey: Although most black teas work best hot, this tea with its refreshing notes of bergamot, lemongrass and lemon peel tastes great over ice. Serve with a slice of grapefruit.
And here’s Kim’s advice on how to get it right every time:
Herbal infusions and black tea are best brewed at 100 degrees. Brew green teas at 80 degrees to avoid drawing out any bitterness. In all cases, let the bag steep for three minutes, then allow the brew to cool before chilling in the fridge. Serve ‘on the rocks’.
You might also have heard of ‘coldbrew; the process of brewing the tea in cold water (room temperature water or cooler). To achieve a good flavour result in this process, most tea needs to coldbrew for 14-16 hours overnight, depending on the tea and the exact temperature of the water.
Summer is the perfect time to try some new tea flavours, and chilled teas are a great alternative to alcohol and sugary fizzy drinks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kim Havelaar is an accredited tea sommelier and the founder of Roqberry. Roqberry is a new brand of tea, focused on bringing big flavour to tea. With high quality ingredients, hand blended in the UK, Roqberry offers both unique flavoured blends as well as top quality artisan varieties. Flavours include fresh expressions of classic blends, such as smooth and sunny Citrus Grey, as well as extraordinary new fusions like savoury Sushi & Spice. The naturally caffeine free infusions range from spiced Turmeric Chai to floral Bloom Box. And the speciality Tea Legends include artisan varieties like Jasmine DragonPearls that remain true to tradition. www.roqberry.com