How to Cold Brew the Perfect Iced Tea
To make the perfect cold brew you have to start with quality loose-leaf tea. You’ll place the leaves of the tea in a pitcher and fill it with cold water. Cover the pitcher and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24hrs depending on the tea and your preference. Remove the tea leaves through straining. Pour the cold brew over ice and enjoy!
What Exactly is a Cold Brew Tea
Cold brewing is the process of infusing tea leaves in cold water rather than steeping them in hot. Of course, you can still hot brew the tea and then pour it over ice and/or place it in the refrigerator. However, this process often yields unpredictable results. The tea can be too bitter or not strong enough. There are also other benefits to the cold brewing method which we will talk more about later.
With hot brewing, depending on the tea you are brewing, the temperature is the biggest factor in retaining the perfect flavor profile. With cold brewing, the temperature isn’t as much the factor as is time. Cold brewing tea is becoming more and more popular not only for the ease of the process, but because cold brewing also produces a better flavor profile. With hot brewing, you are essentially speeding up the process to extract the flavor which can create a different reaction resulting in higher tannins, bitterness, and caffeine. Alternatively, cold brewing extracts the flavor slowly and naturally making it smoother, more balanced with less caffeine.
The History of Cold Brewing
Japan pretty much came up with the process of cold brewing tea. They believed that hot brewing tea actually destroyed many of the nutrients tea had to offer. So, instead of burning the tea with hot water, they allowed the tea to sit in water for longer periods of time. By cold brewing, they were able to preserve many of the naturally occurring antioxidant compounds found in the tea.
Not only can cold brewing tea improve the flavor profile, making for a smoother and less bitter tea, It can also retain more of the life-sustaining compounds such as flavonoids, catechins, and polyphenols. And as we mentioned before, It also tends to be far less caffeinated than its hot brewed counterpart.
How to Make a Cold Brew Tea
The process of cold brewing tea is simple and more forgiving than hot brewing. Before we get into the actual process of cold brewing, here are a few things you are going to need.
1 to 1.5 tablespoons of loose-leaf tea per cup of water
Cold filtered water
A way of straining or filtering the tea leaves
A glass or mason jar
- Place 12 tablespoons of tea in a large pitcher
- Fill pitcher with 8 cups of cold water
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 24hrs
*At first, you may want to taste every few hours until the tea flavor is to your liking
- Strain the tea leaves out
- Pour over a glass of ice and enjoy!
To help you get started, below is a list of our best cold brew loose-leaf options and a few accessories to make the process easier.
Passion Fruit Black Tea
This is a black tea kicked up a notch with sweet passion fruit and floral undertones. It’s a beautiful blend of rose, sunflower, and cornflower blossoms including everything you would expect from a premium black tea. Not only does this tea make for a perfect cold-brewed ice tea, but it is also the perfect base for an at-home kombucha.
Pineapple Paradise Green Tea
The green tea mixture of pineapple and mango chunks makes for a sweet, tart iced treat that is perfect for those hot summer months. Green teas can tend to be a bit bitter and a bit too grassy. This green tea sencha base blends well with the sweet and juicy pineapple and mango making for a less bitter and only slightly grassy tea. Try some today and see for yourself.
Peach Infusion Hibiscus Fruit Tea
This hibiscus tea infusion is full of peachy notes and juicy berry flavors. Hibiscus tends to turn some people off due to the tartness while it is the reason so many others love it. The hibiscus blossoms in this tea infusion are mellowed beautifully by the fruit flavors. This fruit concoction is naturally caffeine-free and perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
The Big Iced Tea Pitcher
This 1 gallon iced tea pitcher is super convenient for making cold-brewed tea at home. You simply place your loose-leaf teas in the center strainer and pour cold water over the leaves. Once the pitcher has been brewing for the desired amount of time, simply remove the center strainer, dump the leaves, and place the pitcher back in the refrigerator. You’ll have iced tea ready to enjoy all week long.