When the days began to grow longer, and the temperature begins to rise, the calendar becomes almost meaningless. Without even looking at it, I can tell that the season for iced tea has begun. Though I absolutely adore hot tea, there is just something about the iced variety that sings a summer song to me, and I bask in its music as I enjoy the cold, liquid pleasure. When most people think of iced tea, they get a mind picture of a tall, frosty pitcher of highly sweetened, amber colored liquid; what I like to refer to as "normal" tea. Black tea is served in most homes and most restaurants whenever someone asks for or orders iced.
However, most aficionados, myself included, know that the glory of black tea and its many varieties can at times be superseded by the many types of herbal, green, white, oolong and rooibos. And then, there is Pouching. Not everyone has heard of Pouchong. In fact, I sometimes get weird looks whenever I mention it in mixed company. I'm not sure what they think I am referring to.
My best guess is that people must think I have suddenly lapsed into speaking some odd foreign language. But, I digress. Pouchong tea is a variety that is sometimes classified as green and sometimes as oolong, depending on who is talking.
It has been oxidized very little, so it lacks the jolt of flavor you sometimes get with green tea. It can be a little hard to find Pouchong; you definitely won't find it sitting beside the Lipton in your grocery store! Generally, most people purchase Pouchong from several different online vendors. In my not-so-humble-opinion, it is some of the very best tea in the entire world. It's delicious hot, of course, and just as wonderful as iced tea. Try it unsweetened, as it seems to quench the thirst much better that way.
I had the opportunity to try a variety of Pouchong tea recently. Coconut Pouchong tea, to be exact. Just the name is enough to make a coconut lover like me salivate! Now, I have to say that I have had coconut teas before, but none with a Pouchong base. It makes all the difference in the world. In my opinion, coconut and black tea just do not blend together quite as well as the elegant Pouchong does with the tropical coconut-ty deliciousness.
Before I sampled this tea, I made it my business to check it over thoroughly. Coconut Pouchong is a seriously beautiful tea. You can just look at it and tell that it is a very high quality tea. The leaves are slightly long and still a mostly dark shade of green.
The aroma is to die for! A wonderful coconut aroma that isn't blatant like so many coconut teas and other beverages, but light and clean and natural. yes, that's it! It has a natural coconut scent! And, that's just sniffing it while it's in the container! When you brew Coconut Pouchong (and I'll explain the best way to do this in order to prepare the best iced tea you ever had in just a bit) the aroma from it will not only fill your kitchen, but will waft into the other rooms of your home as well! With Coconut Pouchong, you get not only a brew that tastes amazing, but smells amazing, too. The taste of Coconut Pouchong is unlike any other tea I have ever tasted. Delicious as a taste description doesn't come close to describing this tea. It tasted so much like a fresh, sweet slice of coconut with just a hint of green tea flavor that I was stunned. So delicious, no sugar is really needed, but the addition of just a little will make this into a tea that any age will fall in love with.
To prepare Coconut Pouchong on ice tea, start as if you were going to brew it hot, but add just a little more loose leaves to your infuser or tea ball as you want the drink to be a bit stronger when drinking it iced, as some of the ice will of course melt and weaken the tea a little. Pour your freshly boiled water over the leaves, and steep for three to four minutes. Don't over-brew, whatever you do.
It will make the green tea turn a bit bitter and ruin the exquisite taste. Allow to cool to lukewarm before pouring over crushed ice. If you want it a little sweet, add sugar to taste while the brew is still hot, as it will dissolve better. And, there you have it! The absolute best Pouchong in the world, iced for your summer pleasure, and reminiscent of a tropical vacation. Many people will probably think that this drink is a little expensive, but here's a word of advice.
You can actually re-use the Coconut Pouchong leaves, and the tea will taste just as good as it did the first time you brewed it. Some folks can get three separate infusions out of one infuser of leaves. That, my friends, is quality tea!.
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