What Makes a Great Iced Tea Bag?

Tea is perfect to rewind and relax. A high quality bagged iced tea should lead with a black tea intensity in the aroma and flavor. This intensity should be such that the flavor is not “watery.” Ideally, the black tea should also have some supporting smoky, woody, earthy, leafy, grassy, fruit and/or floral notes to add to its complexity. The texture of the tea should have some mouth weight. It is also expected to have some bitterness and astringency, but these should not be overwhelming or leave the mouth overly dry when consumed. Finally, the tea flavor intensity should be such that it does remain in the finish.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • grassy

    A natural flavor or aroma suggesting grass. Example: Green tea, olive oil and some dairy products can have grassy notes.

  • floral

    A natural, flower-like aroma or flavor. Example: High-quality vinegar, vanilla, honey, Mandarin oranges and dark chocolate can all have floral notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.

  • flavor intensity

    A measurement of the strength of a flavor in a particular food. Example: High-quality chocolate will have high cocoa flavor intensity.