When you think of drinking tea, you’re most likely to conjure up an image of a steaming hot mug of tea.
However, more recently people have been enjoying the refreshing taste of cold
brew tea. Let’s find out more about cold brew tea – what it is and how to make it.
What’s the difference between iced tea and cold brew tea?
Iced tea is made by steeping the tea in hot water, then adding ice to cool it down. This is a simple method that can taste great so long as the brewing time and temperature are right. However, some people find iced tea tastes bitter and this is one reason why cold brew tea has become more popular recently.
Other reasons include its smoother flavor and the fact that it has less caffeine due to a different chemical reaction taking place in cold water rather than boiling hot water.
Cold brew tea is a simpler option, and the tea is steeped for much longer but with cold or room temperature water for a much longer time period. This leads to a smoother, less bitter taste due to the longer, slower extraction of the tea’s flavor.
Why is cold brew tea a great drink to make?
- It’s affordable – you just need water and some tea (bags or loose leaf).
- It’s refreshing.
- It’s great to blend with other ingredients such as herbs, fruit and even flowers.
- The method is so simple anyone can make it!
What do I need to make cold brew tea?
- Cold water (filtered water is best).
- Loose leaf tea and an infuser or strainer, or teabags can also be used.
- A vessel to brew the tea in – you can use a clean, empty used drinks bottle, a glass jug with a lid or even a mason jar. (Glass is ideal because it won’t stain like plastic can.)
How much tea should I use?
There are several websites out there with specific recipes for making cold brew tea but here is some guidance on how much tea to use from a great website called Teasenz.
For one litre of water, use the following ratios depending on your choice of tea:
- Oolong tea 5mg
- Black tea 5mg
- White tea 8g
- Green/jasmine tea 10g
If you prefer to use teabags, use two bags per litre of water, whatever type of tea you choose.
What are the steps to make cold brew tea?
- First, put your tea into your container.
- Next, add the water.
- Cover and refrigerate.
- Steeping time differs per tea and you can adjust steeping time according to your taste when you have made it a few times. Most teas will be ready in 6-8 hours.
- If the tea looks too light, you can let it steep for a few more hours, or you can add more tea.
- If the tea is too strong, simply add more water until you achieve the taste you like.
- Once you are happy with the taste you can strain the loose tea leaves, take out the infuser or remove the teabags depending on which method you used.
Sweeten, garnish and serve
Most cold brew teas won’t need to be sweetened, but if you want to add a little something sweet, try some dried goji berries or dried jujube fruit. You could also add a small amount of pure cane syrup as opposed to regular sugar which won’t dissolve in cold water. A variety of fruits, herbs, and even flowers such as osmanthus flowers can also be used to enhance your tea.
Serve your tea over ice in a glass or mason jar and enjoy!
Storing your tea
You can keep your cold brew tea in a covered container in the fridge for four days before the flavour begins to wane.
Taking your cold brew tea to the next level
Lastly, here is an even easier option…
Tea specialists Twinings have come up with a ready-made cold tea infusion which is a great option for those of us who want a cool, refreshing drink without even having to prepare your own brew!
Whether you choose a pre-made infusion bag or making your own jug of tea, enjoy experimenting and exploring the flavours of cold brew tea!