Rose Iced Tea

The only beverage in the world that is consumed more than tea is water. Is it correct to call water a beverage? You can do so many other things with it, like wash clothes, swim, nurture plants, take a shower... and things that not too many people would attempt to do with tea! So, maybe it is safe to say that tea is the top beverage in the world that can definitely be classified as a beverage... and nothing else!
Iced tea is a classic, no matter what time of year it is, although it is generally more popular during warmer weather. During the hottest months, when any exercise at all can bring on perspiration and the general feeling of being locked in a sauna, what better way to refresh, rejuvenate, and prevent dehydration than a tinkling, moisture-beaded glass of iced tea?
There are so many different types of tea and tea blends that are suitable for drinking on ice, and it seems they are growing in popularity. No longer are iced tea lovers limited to Lipton bags when the time comes to brew a pitcher.! The combinations that one can find are amazing. Some of them blend together ingredients that you would never think of as suitable for iced tea. That's when the time comes for an iced drinker to be adventurous, and try out some of these combinations. You might just be surprised at the taste, and you may discover a new favorite.
Rose tea is one of my latest discoveries. It seems perfect for lazy summer afternoons, sipping its iced goodness while sitting among the hybrid tea rose bushes in my rose garden. I was quite intrigued by the very idea of rose, and did a little research on it to find out what I could about the origins of this variety. I discovered that rose tea has been around for quite some time as one of the oldest blends there is. It is usually made from a very high quality black tea, mixed with wonderfully fragrant rose petals, and sometimes with small rosebuds as well.
The best rose blends are expertly blended, with just the right amount of both black and rose. The blending is important; in fact, the blending is what allows you to be able to tell the difference in a good quality rose, and one that is of dubious quality. A quick sniff of a good quality rose tells the tale in a big way.
If ever you can compare the scent of quality rose tea with a cheaper variety, do so. You'll never forget the difference! Less expensive rose blends do not use the actual flower, but merely a rose flavoring, and you can certainly tell the difference in taste as well as aroma. The taste of the rose petals blends almost seamlessly with the black base.
To brew rose tea for making iced tea, you'll want to make it a little stronger than you ordinarily would for hot tea. When you pour the warm drink over ice, some of that ice will naturally melt and dilute the mixture. A stronger brew works out wonderfully for iced tea. And, if you're tempted to purchase rose in teabag or pod form... don't. Nothing gives you the flavor as it was meant to be better than loose tea, and rose is no exception.
Spoon the loose tea into a glass pitcher, or you can use a pot sized ball if you don't want to go to the trouble of pouring the brewed mixture through a strainer. You'll want around a teaspoon and a half to two teaspoons of loose tea. Use freshly boiled water, about a cup for each glass. Pour over the loose tea and allow to steep for about 6 minutes. The longer it steeps, the more pronounced the rose flavor is, but you run the risk of the black base turning a little bitter if it is steeped for too long.
Use very little sugar in your rose iced tea. It's actually delicious with no sugar at all, but a small amount of sugar seems to really bring out the taste. Let the mixture cool a bit so that it doesn't totally melt the ice in the glasses, and then pour it over crushed ice or ice cubes - your choice.
A variation is rose milk iced tea, which is very popular in China and other Asian countries. To make this, heat water and milk together, and steep your tea in this mixture. Add a little sugar, and pour over ice. Milky deliciousness!
Rose iced is actually quite good for you! These beautiful flowers contain not only Vitamin C, but also citric acid, malic acid, and pectin. Rose tea is said to help to clear any form of toxins from the body, and in doing so, cleanses the liver and gall bladder as well. It's a great variety to drink when you are nervous, as it seems to gift you a lift and also perk you up and make you forget your tiredness and depression.
So, now you have a good excuse to indulge yourself in some quality rose iced tea! Not only is it delicious, but healthy, too!

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