Growing up in the middle east, fresh mint plays a heavy role in my life – for comfort, nostalgia and taste. It was the norm to drink hot black tea with sprigs of fresh mint steeped, and a block of sugar on the side to be kept in the side of your mouth for the sugar to slowly dissolve, sweetening the tea as you sipped.
Iced Tea is my brother’s favourite, and on a hot sunny afternoon, in the midst of a photoshoot, I craved a cold drink. While. I always opt for cold brews, it does require much planing and life is often in the instant – so hot water, brewed with more black Darjeeling tea than you can imagine – which takes all but 5 minutes, instantly cooled in the fridge – about 20 minutes with the tea leaves in, so it can continue to get stronger (I like really really strong tea!). But before I put it in the fridge, I wash a whole orange properly, and add all the peels into the tea. This gently does all kinds of delicious citrus goodness! The pulp of the orange goes into the serving jug and placed in the fridge.
When fairly cooled down – now remember, this was for my instant need, but of course, cool for over 3-4 hours and that’s fine. Strain the tea out into a jug, leaving the orange peel in is optional, and lots of fresh, well-washed mint leaves. I do not need ay sugar, but if you do, add that amount in during brewing to dissolve.