Best teas for making iced tea
For the last 40 years I've been a heavy iced tea drinker. My usual brand of tea has been Red Rose although I am happy with regular Lipton, Luzianne, and once in a while Bigelow Earl Grey.
Last summer I was having lunch at a nicer restaurant in the downtown Cleveland mall with a large group of friends. Many of us ordered what the menu called Caribbean Iced. We were all wowed by the unusual flavor of the tea. Looking around you could see the place was selling a ton of the stuff. When we asked the waiter what was in it he confided it was a cheap mango flavored black tea. When I got home to Michigan I found a few places that carried mango flavored tea. I bought a few different brands (it really is pretty cheap), went home, brewed up, and yup, same fantastic iced tea.
That got me experimenting with other teas. My favorite is one I get in Asian markets called Golden Sail Brand Lichee black tea. At $5 for a 1/2 pound red tin can it's inexpensive and utterly delicious.
I'm curious about other teas to try and would appreciate your input!
I love peppermint tea iced! Trader Joe's Organic Mint Melange is especially great with a hint of lemongrass!
I also like red hibiscus iced tea.
As Hillj said, excellent iced tea. Not a real tea, more of a shrub that is put in its entirety through a fine mulcher to get the product. Has more anti-oxidants than green tea, and no caffeine. Water can sit on the schmutz for a long time and extract more flavor than normal teas as well. While the flavored ones are IMHO OK, the unsullied original is my favorite and can also be gotten in organic form inexpensively at the Head Nut in surburban Philadelphia, large mail order business.
Teas that tend to be brewed at lower temperatures make excellent ice teas. e.g. white teas like silver needle, or green teas such as sencha or certain jasmine flavoured greens. You can cold brew them simply by putting the appropriate amount of leaves in water and leaving it in the fridge for 8 hours or more.
There's a German Shop called Teegschwendner or Teagschwendner. They have a US branch as well and they are selling great stuff from around the world.
We got iced tea from a nearby Indian restaurant that was subtly chai-spiced. Not at all sweetened, no milk, just iced chai tea. Fantastic!
I've made it using Tazo Chai tea bags, the usual way. I know Meijer's carrys that brand, possibly some others. If you get down to the Detroit area, Trader Joes carries a chai tea as well.