My gut instinct is that this tea was made to be iced, but it was in small single serving bags, not pitcher sized ones and included “hot tea by the cup” and “iced tea by the pitcher” directions. I thought I’d start traditional with a hot steep. Even though I would have taken a bet that it needed sweetener to have the best effect I did try it without to start. It tasted more like sucking on watermelon rind with a splash of mint rather than sweet watermelon.
Next I did an iced tea from a hot steep. Again, plain was not the best but I think plain iced was better than plain hot. This time I added amber sugar and it was quite good this way. The mint added a refreshing coolness that went beyond the ice and the sugar was a better fit to the watermelon sweetness than the honey I used in the hot steep (it was a raw honey with a definitive flavor that kind of competed with the watermelon rather than just enhanced it).
Lastly I did a cold steep for 8 hours. I think this was the best of all methods. Though I have come to love some of the tannin release in a hot black tea with milk (and sometimes sweetener) and prefer it to the milder cold brew, with this tea the milder brew allowed the fruit to shine brightest. I dissolved some amber sugar crystals in a little warm water for a quick and dirty simple syrup-like sweetener and added it to the cold brew. Both my friend and I agreed this was a great addition and made for a unique iced tea. I’d toss in the idea of making a spiked version with vodka perhaps or even using it in a cocktail with other fruit flavors.
If you have a curious palate and these flavors are ones you usually like, give this tea spin. Make it for your next cookout or other summer event. It may inspire some interesting conversation.