You can make it hot, cold, iced, with a little help of sun, or make it into delicious latte. But, there is one more interesting way tof using tea – by turning it into a tea syrup and enjoying it mixed with water, milk or in any other way you want. Best of all? Tea comes into thousands of flavors – pure or blended – making the number of options uncountable.
What is a tea syrup?
Tea syrup is basically an upgraded simple syrup. It’s a mix of water, sugar and tea. You can use it for sweetening many drinks – from cocktails and iced tea to milk shakes and water. You can also use it with your favorite pancakes for the ultimate morning tea time or as an ingredient in baking cakes too. Although it’s possible to buy a pre-made tea syrup, they are still more rare than regular fruit syrups.
The good news? You can easily make one at home, and you can choose any tea you want. The benefits of having a tea syrup in your fridge is the ease of flavoring and sweetening almost any drink you want. Unlike rock sugar, it can be added to cold water and it will dissolve immediately.
How to make a tea syrup?
To make a simple sweet tea syrup you will need your favorite tea leaves, a cup of water and a cup of sugar. White sugar is the best option for tea syrups as it has the most neutral flavor.
Bring water to boil. Follow the brewing instructions on the packaging, but use at least 4 times more tea leaves (at least 1 tablespoon, but the more the better) and steep it for at least twice long – 5-10 minutes. The more leaves you use and the longer you steep them, the more flavor you will extract. Don’t use boiling water for green tea – it will only extract bitterness. Long steeping time may increase bitterness too. Although any bitterness will be covered by sugar, boiling water is extracting a completely different flavor too.
Strain and add tea in into a pan. Bring it to a boil. Add sugar, reduce heat to low medium and stir until it’s thick and sticky. This may take 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool down. Pour into a small jar or bottle and store in the fridge.
Which teas are the best for making a tea syrup?
To make a tea syrup always choose high quality ingredients. Flavors matter more than scent. Loose leaf tea will always be of a better quality than tea bags. Try those teas that have the best intense and unique flavors. The best ones?
- Lapsang souchong black tea because of an intense smokey flavor. This tea is an ingredient of a Russian Caravan blend too.
- Royal Golden Yunnan black tea or Organic Assam if you want pure black tea flavors
- Simple Chai tea because of intensity and warming spices
- Simple Earl Grey or Blue Lady Grey because of a unique bergamot scent
- Flavored red rooibos blends such as Blood Orange or African Rose
- Caramel, vanilla and chocolate blends such as Creme Brulee Oolong, Summer Nights black tea or Simple Vanilla black tea for the intense, creamy and chocolate flavors
- Moroccan Mint green tea because of its freshness, sweetness and intensity
- Simple flavored green teas with one ingredient such as Simple Peach green tea, Simple Strawberry green tea, etc.
- Chamomile blends because of a honey-like note
- Hibiscus blends for a zesty note
Which teas are not a good option? Avoid light green teas such as Dragon Well, green teas with very vegetal fresh flavor like Japanese sencha, or delicate white teas. However, you may still be able to use them if you brew them properly and manage to get out the best flavor. Make small quantities first, then adjust the amount of tea if needed.