Upgrade Iced Black Tea With A Fresh Herbal Infusion

While there's nothing quite like a cold glass of homemade iced tea on a sunny day, you might find that most iced black tea recipes tend to skew toward the sweeter side of things. From southern peach sweet tea all the way to Hong Kong-style iced lemon tea, there's no shortage of sugary drinks you can make out of black teas; but if you'd rather skip the sugar, you might want to try adding fresh herbs to your pitcher instead. 

Herbal infusions are much more common for white and green teas. While the robustness of black tea makes it a perfect addition to bourbon or curry, it usually doesn't lend as well to herbal flavors as the much lighter varieties of tea do. However, putting black tea on ice comes with a toned down taste that presents a fresh opportunity for unique combinations. 

The chilled richness serves as a pleasantly contrasting backdrop when paired with herbs, highlighting the refreshing aromas while keeping that smooth depth of flavor. Whether it's a dash of lemon verbena for a citrusy twist, a small touch of lavender for a floral taste, or a hint of mint to up the coolness factor, infusing your iced black tea with herbs is an upgrade you won't regret making.

Pair various black teas with complementary herbs

Not all black teas are made the same, and herbal infusions can really bring out the subtle notes in these differences. The refreshing briskness of Ceylon, for example, offers an even brighter flavor profile when combined with more citrus-like herbs such as lemongrass, lemon balm, or lemon verbena. 

The much more delicate taste of Darjeeling, on the other hand, really blooms when brewed with lavender, rose hips, scented geraniums, or other floral accents of choice. And of course, black teas like Assam that run along the darker and more decadent side will pair wonderfully with stronger herbs like rosemary or sage. 

That's not to say you can't mix and match to suit your own tastes. If you want to kick it up a notch, a switch to loose leaf will elevate the natural flavors of your tea and make the herbal accents pop. With as little as two fresh ingredients, you can make a cool and refreshing drink that'll have you wondering why pairing herbs with black tea is so unconventional to begin with.