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Sebastian Beckwith spends several months a year sourcing teas in Asia
Sebastian Beckwith, owner of In Pursuit of Tea, spends several months a year sourcing teas in Asia

Sebastian Beckwith is to tea as Julia Child was to French cooking. The owner of the ultra-purist purveyor In Pursuit of Tea is a tea savant, proselytizer, and popularizer. His meticulous sourcing of high-quality leaves from remote regions of the world to the U.S. means New Yorkers drink better brews—particularly if they dine at Rice and Gramercy Tavern, which serve them. We asked Beckwith, who’s between scouting missions this week, for advice on how to make the perfect iced tea.

Perfect Iced Tea

TeaShotBeckwith’s favorite method is cold-infusing because it brings out the tea’s flavor without the tannins getting too strong, a common problem with over-brewing. Add a few tablespoons of loose leaf tea to a pitcher of purified water. (At his office, Darjeeling black tea is a favorite for icing because of its gentle, fruit-forward flavor.) Refrigerate for six hours. Leave the tea leaves in the pitcher, and strain over ice each time you want a glass. Cut with extra water if necessary.

Garnish: Lemon or orange wedge for color, but unnecessary for taste.

For sweeter iced tea: Try Scarlet Glow Herbal blend with stevia leaf.