Oolong teas vary greatly from one tea to another. Many are noted for having sweet fruity flavors while others are roasted and can have nutty or grainy notes. Due to this range, choosing the right oolong for iced tea is a bit of a challenge. However, most oolong teas are refreshing served cold, so feel free to explore your options.
This iced oolong tea recipe is a refreshing, semi-sweet drink that is very easy to make. While black tea is often preferred for iced tea, you might find that oolong tea is a better choice. This is particularly true if you want a healthier alternative to traditional sweet teas.
There are two oolong teas that come highly recommended for this recipe. Oriental Beauty is a type of oolong tea that originated in Taiwan. The tea is highly oxidized (usually around 70 percent) and is harvested from young tea leaves so as to start oxidation from the moment they're plucked. The result is a naturally sweet, slightly sour tea that is sold by a number of tea companies.
Many tea drinkers consider Taiwan to be the capital of oolong tea, so it's no surprise that this second recommendation, Wen Shan Bao Zhong, also hails from that country. This tea comes from the Wen Shan mountain range. It is a low-oxidized oolong described as smooth, sweet, and floral. Some drinkers even refer to it as having a creamy mouthfeel.
When beverages are chilled, they tend to lose some of their sweetness. This recipe calls for a naturally sweet oolong, so you'll only need to add a dab of honey for a perfectly sweet tea.
Pour the hot water over the tea leaves.
Steep for 4 to 6 minutes and then remove the tea leaves.
Add the honey and stir.
Pour the tea over ice.
- Oolong falls right in between green and black teas when it comes to temperature. The water should be about 195 F, which is near boiling (but not boiling, save that for black tea).
- As far as time goes, oolong should be steeped a little longer than black tea. For a hot tea, 5 to 8 minutes is often recommended, but you can get away with just 4 to 6 minutes in this iced tea recipe. If you find that this is not bold enough for your taste, brew your next cup a couple of minutes longer. Brewing times are going to be affected by your personal taste and the quality of your tea leaves; make any adjustments as you see fit.