|"This 2009 WTC champion definitely earns its gold medal. Delicious, refreshing, high quality, and everything you could want in an iced tea."|
mass-produced canned crap. In fact, I've almost been put off from lemon in my iced tea altogether by a certain Corporate conglomerate whose lemon flavored iced tea in a can seems to cause cancer to the esophagus as it goes down, it's so dreadful.
As I started to brew up a pitcher of Rishi Tea's Summer Lemon (Organic and Fair Trade), the thick, black clouds creeping in had dimmed my afternoon kitchen to post-dusk lighting conditions. Having to actually turn on lamps to see what I was doing, I followed Rishi's recommendations by brewing a satchel of this blend in a 32 ounce pitcher for 5 minutes with 2 cups boiling water. During the brew, the rain came pouring down on command. Once the 5 minutes had elapsed, I then added 2 cups cold water, and immediately poured into an Old Fashioned filled with ice. By this time the sun was streaming in the window and the rain had ceased. Ah Florida, ya gotta love it.
The lemon comes off rather intensely in the dried blend-in-a-bag. Pungent enough to reach me across the room, the lemon-soaked scent was super inviting and had my thirst working up into a frenzy. Sad to say, this flavor doesn't translate as profoundly in the cup. As to be expected, and as with any iced tea, you have to expect a significant amount of dilution when using ice. As is the case here, the lemon loses all its oomph, but the black tea comes through nicely, even when nearly all the ice has melted away.
Naturally, the proper thing to do here is to put the tea in the refrigerator and enjoy it chilled, sans ice. In the meantime, a lukewarm cup gives a tantalizing bouquet, with the lemon making a bold showing, weaving its scent into the black tea. Once fully chilled several hours later, the taste remains just as impressive. Flavor-wise, the strength of this tea and the fantastic flavor imparted by the lemon additives are really shining in the full-strength version of this tea, without being watered down by the ice.
At the close of this writing, I decided to check the WTC results to see if Rishi's iced teas fared well in the World Tea Championship this year. Well! This blend happens to be the Gold Medal winner in the flavored black tea category. Well deserved, Rishi! I bet I would have said the same thing, had I been on the judges' panel.
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