Tea Blog

Iced Tea and The Cold Brew Contingent or Before Ice was cool..it was water

June is National Iced Tea month and in honor of this holiday we'll be offering some deep knowledge and deeper discounts to help keep you intellectually and actually insulated in the impending summer months. Starting on June 1st you can enjoy all our iced tea offerings at 20% off and while your sipping on that sweaty beverage we offer you some fodder from the pages of history.

The idea of icing this beverage is as old and celebrated as the union of this fair country.  However, the advent and origin are wildly debated.

Cookbooks and confederacies touted the incorporation of cold cubes and crisp flavors as early as the 1840's. The Kentucky Housewife was one of the first periodicals to preach the gospel of this lovely libation calling it "Cold-Tea" and even articulating a recipe calling for "scalding" your kettle and then adding 2 teaspoons of green tea to it. Hard to believe given we see so much black tea these days, but then Chinese and Japanese green dominated the market prior to World War I & II.

However, the most widely distributed tout of truth brings us nearly half a century later at the St. Louis fair where, Richard Blechynden, director of the East India pavilion, became frustrated as he tried to offer samples of the hot stuff in the midst of the sweltering Midwest summer. His idea had not yet inoculated this beverage with sub-zero cubed delight; instead he channeled his brewed benevolence through a series of lead pipes immersed in ice resulting in a cool, refreshing beverage that tamed the tongues of fair goers alike.

Today, the newest of iterations have begun to emerge in the way of something known as "cold brewing". This is an idea that incorporates steeping the leaves of the tea for longer periods of time and at much lower temperatures to abide a full-strength non-ice necessitating refreshment. The resulting infusion lends itself to a softer, silkier palate and at full strength. Zhi Tea is proud to have been an early originator providing cold brew at zhitea.com since 2011 and we are overjoyed to see the trend taking off with a swift "can't stop won't stop" attitude.

As the summer season opens up and we find a revitalization in the newness of our own lives, perhaps cleansing the palate with the crisp and fervent flavors of an icy libation becomes necessary; something that reminds us of backyard barbeques, new beginnings and better times to come.

Recipe Box: Zhi’s Iced Thai Tea Cocktail

Thai Iced TeaNaughty, nice, and over ice!

This colorful thai iced tea is the best way to surrender to one’s sweet tooth. While thai iced tea is something one usually enjoys at a restaurant or tea room, here is Zhi’s recipe for you to make at home. We make it with our Austin Breakfast, making it our ‘Texas’ version. We also use coconut cream to make it even silkier, another difference to celebrate in this signature.  Let’s get decadent!

This recipe makes a ½ gallon pitcher. As you can imagine, this is a luxury drink you’ll want to share…or keep sipping on all day long.

Zhi’s Texas Thai Tea

15 minutes, makes 8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz of dry Sweet Desert Delight tea

  • 1 tablespoon dry Austin Breakfast tea

  • 6 cups hot water

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • ½ cup condensed milk

  • ice

  • 8 oz vodka *optional

Teaware:

  • teapot or strainer

  • half gallon pitcher

  • cups

Directions:

  1. Steep 4 oz of Sweet Desert Delight in 5 cups of hot water for 10 minutes.

  2. When done, strain and pour steeped tea into half gallon pitcher.

  3. Steep 1 tablespoon of Austin Breakfast in 1 cup of hot water for 3 minutes.

  4. When done, strain and pour steeped tea into half gallon pitcher.

  5. Pour coconut cream and condensed milk into hot tea combo. Stir to dissolve.

  6. Chill by adding a few ice cubes to the pitcher. Stir to dissolve.

  7. Taste. You can add more coconut cream and evaporated milk to sweeten further.

  8. If you’d like to make it into a cocktail, add some vodka.

  9. Now, your pitcher of thai iced tea is complete.

  10. Pour over cups filled with ice and enjoy!

  11. Garnish with star anise.

 

Notes:  Keep stirring! The creamy ingredients will want to separate over time. Enjoy!

Crave Coconut? Zhi’s new oolong option

Howdy, tea fans and coconut lovers!

May we introduce you to our Coconut Oolong?

By popular demand, Zhi has created an enticing, simple and luxurious flavored oolong. We have simply taken our stunning Emerald oolong and added organic essence of sweet, young coconut. The result is creamy smooth, silky sweet, with a long round finish.

Traditionalists would herald this move as blasphemous!

Well, to be honest, Dr. Oolong shuddered when faced with the thought of flavoring such a pure and perfect Bao Zhong. But he does like to to innovate and create new tastes. So, being the coconut freaks that we are, as well as known oolong fanatics, we could hardly resist the temptation. We tried it… and it was amazing!

So add another coconut tea to our list! We hope you love it as much as we do.

PS this tea is amazing hot and iced. Enjoy!

Monday Mashup: Mounds of Chai

Today marks Zhi Tea’s first documented mix and match experiment: the Monday Mashup. You can look forward to these creative premium tea combos and draw some inspiration for your own custom blends.

We were having a bit of a candy craving today, which became our inspiration for this week’s Monday Mashup. We mixed together our Coconut Chai and our Cacao Chai teas at about a 50/50 ratio to create what we’ve aptly named Mounds of Chai tea after the classic candy bar.

The refreshing blend marries our favorite dark chocolate and organic coconut flavors in a refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed alone or with organic milk and Fair Trade sugar for that true candy essence.

Try mixing the two at home to make an organic chai latte or a pure premium cup of tea, and let us know what you think! If you’ve mixed up other Zhi Teas and discovered the magic of blending, shoot us a suggestion for next week’s Monday Mashup, and your tea invention may be featured right here on the Zhi blog.

Tune in next Monday for another exciting Mashup and see what teas will join forces!

Need an Exciting Change? Try Coconut Tea

Some tea drinkers are adventurous; they go out of their way to try something new every time they order. However, the vast majority tend to stick to one variety. They may venture away occasionally and try something slightly different, but they quickly return to what they are comfortable with. If this sounds like you, then you are probably also feeling that it is time you lived on the edge a little and tried a flavor completely different than what you are used to. Of course, the biggest challenge is deciding which one of the many tempting flavors we have here at Zhi Tea you should try. We have two words for you: coconut tea!

Why Coconut Tea?

You may be wondering why you should try coconut tea as opposed to the countless other flavors. If record high temperatures don’t tempt your taste buds for something tropical, then there are actually other reasons as well.

This popular new flavor is not just delicious, it is healthy. Why buy a tea with artificial flavor, sugar and syrup when you can enjoy a phenomenal cup of organic tea that offers the same great benefits as other varieties?

This evocative black tea is good for your heart and actually helps to protect your teeth and bones because it contains a specific class of polyphenols.

Think of the tea cocktails you can make with it! You can chill it and add fresh fruit for a punch or even add it to your banana smoothie in the blender. This is a versatile tea you will want to make a permanent flavor in your collection.

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