Cold Brew Iced Tea : Wen Shan Bao Zhong

by Arina on June 29, 2010

in Tea Recipes

Cold Brew Iced Tea is best served in champagne glasses

The weather in Beijing is getting unbearably, excruciatingly hot. One step out into the summer heat, and I start melting and dreaming of getting back into the cooling comfort of our air-conditioned apartment. To beat the heat, one need a truly serious remedy. I was looking for one, and the inspiration came from the least expected source.

I am a huge fan of interior design magasines and websites. One of my favorites is Apartment Therapy. I was leisurely browsing through their recent posts when I stumbled upon the article about 10 Ways to Enjoy Your Home in Summer. #3 – Brew some iced tea – oh, I might actually like this piece of advice! That is how I discovered the concept of cold brew iced tea.

The idea is simple comme bonjour. All you need is to fill a pitcher or a jug with some good water and add your favourite loose tea (count about two rounded tablespoons for one liter of water), put it into the fridge and leave overnight. That simplicity left me incredulous, but last night I gave it a try with a very nicely fragrant oolong tea from Taiwan, Wen Shan Bao Zhong (文山包种茶). The result was overwhelmingly convincing. My cold brew iced tea was perfectly refreshing, fragrant, delicate and smooth. The stunning thing about it was that this iced tea did not have a hint of bitterness, in spite of the very long brewing time. It must be the effect of low temperature, when aromas are slowly released into the water and the theine is still sealed inside the leaves. It worked out smoothly with Bao Zhong, and I suspect it will work out with other tea varieties.

When I tasted my iced Bao Zhong, the idea of serving it in champagne glasses came immediately to my mind. Holding a slender flute glass makes the whole experience just so much more exquisite… And if you feel a bit hungry, indulge yourself with a slice of fresh juicy watermelon that will melt in your mouth, it is soooooooo good together! Then, turn on a nice tune (like Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay or Cayman Islands), close your eyes and fly away with the thoughts of a summer breeze… Oh, God, my alarm clock is buzzing – I must be out into the Beijing heat again! But now that I have my perfect refreshment, it is not that scary…

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