Sometimes it’s just too hot to put on the tea kettle, which probably means iced tea is needed more than ever. Good thing there’s a perfect solution – cold brew. In addition to beating the heat, the cold brew method can produce superior results reducing both dilution and bitterness. The result is a sweet, smooth tea with increased clarity.
By not exposing tea leaves to hot water, fewer catechins and tannins are steeped out. The benefit is a less astringent brew which allows more delicate and elusive flavors to shine. However, the same holds true for caffeine, so keep that in mind if iced tea is a go to pick-me-up or an evening elixir.
Cold brewing works with most every type of loose leaf tea including green, white, black, and oolong. It’s a fantastic way to breathe new life into old favorites. The subtle to dramatic shifts in flavor achieved by cold brewing is worth the wait. Since the method can take up to eight hours it’s essential to plan ahead.
Other than the time spent waiting, cold brew is one of the simplest methods. Just place cold water and tea leaves in a vessel, refrigerate, wait, and strain. However, it doesn’t hurt to know the details.
How to Cold Brew Tea:
- Measure 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea in a vessel.
- Add 48 ounces of cold, clean water.
- Place in the refrigerator and steep for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Strain and add sweetener if desired.
- Serve over ice or drink it cold, straight from the fridge without any ice to dilute the flavor.
Cold-brew Iced Tea Brewing Tips:
- Use double the amount of loose leaf tea used for brewing hot tea.
- Use fresh, cold water. The quality of water will affect the taste of the tea.
- Be sure to strain the leaf from the tea once steeping is complete.
Now that basics are covered, experimentation is key to developing unique and delicious cold brews. Again, since the chances of bitterness and clouding are significantly reduced, it’s hard to go wrong. Feel free to increase the amount of tea, don’t be afraid to use more leaf, or vary the steeping time.
Already cold brewed a tried and true favorite? Try something new. This method is particularly suited to delicate white teas like White Peony or Snow Buds. The mild flavors of these refined and understated teas are truly enhanced by cold brewing.
For those who like sweet teas try our Tropical Breeze or Black Currant. Keep in mind this method brings out more of the tea’s natural sweetness, so sample the batch before adding additional sweetener. If needed, try honey or agave, both dissolve more easily in cold liquids.
Already have a pitcher of cold brew that’s not quite ready? Need tea now? Try this alternative hot brewing method for flavorful iced tea.