Thankyou for all your entries, this giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sophie Ford!
With this warmer weather (ok, a little hit and miss here in the UK…) I’ve been looking for ways to cool down without eating a tub of ice cream or gallons of iced coffee… I normally love a good ol’ cuppa, but come 4 o’clock I’m craving something ice cold, my solution? Beautiful, sweet iced tea that’s refreshing and healthy for you – win, win!
I’ve teamed up with JING tea, a London-based company that imports the finest and rarest teas from Asia, and sells simple but elegant, hand-blown glass tea ware. Launched in 2004, JING sources leaves from China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Sri Lanka, and is now enjoyed in over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants (if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!). They invited me to try two of their teas – Jasmine Silver Needle and Jade Sword Green Tea – to concoct two cold infusions.
I had been looking for iced tea recipes for ages, but as with most of my cooking, I like to make it up as I go along. I didn’t want to use a shop-bought syrup, and thought infusing tea simply with fruit wouldn’t result in a strong enough flavour. I therefore set about making my own syrup, which is much easier than it sounds – fresh fruit, agave syrup (slightly healthier than sugar) and water, boiled and infused for a matter of minutes. The intensely flavoured syrup can then be added, as much or as little as you want, to your cooled-down, brewed tea and served over ice.
I paired the Jasmine Silver Needle tea with flat, white peaches. It’s China’s finest white tea, picked and sun dried in April, in the mountains of China’s Fujian Province. Later in August, the tea is laid beneath a bed of fresh jasmine flowers for seven consecutive nights, marrying the sweet white tea with a fresh, fragrant jasmine aroma. The reason I didn’t use black tea, is that it could be too heavy and overpowering for the delicate peach flavour – the floral notes of Jasmine balance with it nicely.
For the Jade Sword tea – clean, refreshing and packed with the flavours of spring – I used lemon and thyme, to bring out the citrusy flavours and herbal tones. Both are beautifully refreshing, light and summery. Scroll down for the recipes and a giveaway!
Lemon and Thyme Iced Tea (makes 3-4 glasses)
Green tea (tablespoon of loose leaf or a couple of teabags)
One lemon, plus a few slices for decoration
A sprig of thyme
Agave nectar (about a tablespoon, depending on how sweet your tooth is!)
Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small saucepan and add the two squeezed out halves of lemon, add a tablespoon of agave nectar (you could also use sugar or honey), the sprig of thyme and about 250ml of water. Bring to the boil and put aside to cool, making sure to remove the two lemon halves and thyme. Brew your tea in a pot (around 750ml of water will do 3-4 glasses) and leave to chill in a fridge for approximately half an hour to an hour until ice cold. I left the tea leaves/tea bags in the pot while it was in the fridge for a stronger flavour. You can then either add the sweet, sticky, lemony syrup to the tea and serve all together in a jug of ice (think one part syrup, three parts tea), or pour some of the syrup in each glass, over ice and lemon slices, and add the tea on top (like you would a fruit squash or spirit and mixer) – it depends on how sweet you like your iced tea, more of the syrup will make a sweeter drink.
Peach Iced Tea (makes 3-4 glasses)
Jasmine tea (tablespoon of loose leaf or a couple of teabags)
3-4 ripe peaches
Agave nectar (about a tablespoon)
Dice up the peaches and place in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of agave nectar (you could also use sugar or honey) and about 250ml of water. Bring to the boil and put aside to cool once the pieces of peach have softened and lost their shape a little bit. Brew your tea in a pot (around 750ml of water will do 3-4 glasses) and leave to chill in a fridge for approximately half an hour to an hour until ice cold. Sieve the peach syrup, discarding the peel and stringy flesh and keeping hold of all the liquid. As with the lemon tea, you can then either add the peach syrup to the tea and serve all together in a jug of ice, or pour some of the syrup in each glass and add the tea – which also means, that in bigger batches, you can save the syrup separately in the fridge so it’s easier to make iced tea next time!
The Giveaway part!
The lovely people of JING tea are also kindly giving away a lovely selection of JING goodies seen in these images here, including:
– a JING Glass Tea-iere (unlike cafetieres, the Tea-iere does not have a plunger. Instead, the filter is built into the lid of the hand-blown glass piece, letting your tea leaves or tea bags breathe and infuse)
– Jasmine Silver Needle tea bags (white tea expertly scented with fresh Jasmine flowers for a delicate and soothing infusion)
– Jade Sword Green tea bags (bright and refreshing whole leaf green tea)
– Glass timer (to perfectly time your cups of tea, hot and cold)
HOW TO ENTER:
Entries close 31 August and a winner will be picked at random.
This was written in collaboration with JING Tea, who kindly gifted the products seen here in the images for the purposes of the post. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.