It's a good way to deal with run-of-the-mill oolong-of which there is a great abundance available for purchase over the web (some, unfortunately, without a price tag to match its unremarkableness.) I'm talking about oolong that is "fine"- nothing off, but nothing vibrant. I've recently been cold brewing a Dong Ding and a TieGuanYin that are a bit dull when brewed gongfu style, but are quite refreshing when iced-down. Of course, they do not become extraordinary once you ice them, no alchemical transformation occurs. But they make a clean, tasty drink to cool you down when you are running hot.
The temperature dropped down to 29 F on the thickly timbered ridge where I slept last night. This seemed weird for mid-August at 5300 feet. Before I zipped myself away in the sleeping bag, I dropped a small handful of cheap TieGuanYin pellets into a quart mason jar and covered them with water from a cubie we kept in the shade. I set the jar on the hood of the truck. When we woke and dragged ourselves out into the hard frost, an amber tea slushie sparkled in the early light. It was delightful to slurp from this chilled vessel during breaks while we worked clearing downed trees with axes and crosscuts and the day grew hotter. The day was clear with a hint of the cold fall light that sharpens the landscape. Traces of wildfire smoke were blown out by the cold front and the air was clean and new. It was a good day to be drinking tea like this. I am reluctant to attempt the experiment with nicer tea, afraid of "wasting" it. But it will probably just be better. We'll see. There will be hot days yet.