Staying on budget is always a challenge. On my last two tea orders, I’ve had to settle for some smaller samples and delay my restock. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of gong-fu size sessions and saving the leaves.
In addition to blending my own teas, I also like to save spent leaves when my stock is low. While there may not be much left in the way of steeping, boiling shows they still have much to give. I recommend getting some nice size sealable food-safe containers and using them to store spent leaves in the fridge. When you have about 28 to 30 grams your ready to make iced tea. While you may not think all teas would do well blended, you might be surprised. Take pu’erh for example. An ice cold sweet glass of pu’erh may not sound so great on its own but as a back note added to Keemun/Yunnan Red Blend at a ratio of one to ten takes the blend to a whole new level. I plan to do some experimenting with pu’erh blending this summer.
For this ice tea, I feature a Moonlight White tea for its stone fruit notes and finish it off with Gyokuro for some added umami.
Gyokuro Moonlight Sour Iced Tea Recipe
Wild Tree Purple Moonlight White Tea (Yunnan Sourcing) – 28 grams spent leaves
Gyokuro Cha Musume (Nio Teas) – 3 grams of dry leaf
1 pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
8 cups of water
Combine sugar and lemon in a pitcher. Bring Moonlight White tea and 4 cups water to boil. Cover reduce heat to simmer for 10 mins. Remove from heat and steep for 8 mins then add 1/2 cup room temp water and Gyokuro, stir and steep for three minutes more.
Strain into the pitcher with lemon and sugar adding 3 1/2 cups more water give a final and enjoy.
Moonlight White teas make excellent iced tea and this pairing with Gyokuro resulted in one of my favorite blends. It’s going to be the star of the show this summer here in the desert.
Moonlight Apricot Sourer Steamer Extra:
A great variation on this is to boil just the white tea and serve hot with lemon and sweetener to taste.