ICED TEA is a summer staple, but when it’s over 100 °F out,  the thought of boiling a pot of hot water just seems a bit unbearable.    Fret not!   We got a solution for you.  Two words: Cold Brew!

Cold Brewing tea has been around for ages, it was around even before cold brew coffee became chic.      Follow the below steps to some seriously delicious cold brew tea, and we promise, you will wonder why you hadn’t tried cold brewing earlier!

You will need:

  • A large bottle or pitcher.  We like to use the old fashion Mason Jars.
  • Good drinking water.  If your tap water is drinkable, then use tap water.
  • Tea.  We suggest any fragrant and sweet oolong.  Certain black teas would work, think more in line of estate Darjeeling instead of regular Lipton. We will explain why in a bit.

How To:

Drop tea into your bottle or pitcher, add water and fill to top, let it steep for 4 to 6 hours in normal room temperature.   That’s it.  Enjoy.  After brewed, you can put it in the fridge to further ice it, but very likely, you won’t need to.

How Much Tea and water to use?

You will need about 3g of teas (that’s about a heaping teaspoon) per 500ml water.    If your tea is a good quality tea, You should get 2 to 3 brews out of your tea.

What type of tea to use for cold brew?

Oolong works best for cold brew.  Think fragrant sweet tasting Taiwan oolongs.  The lighter roasts work better than the darker ones.  Ali Shan Mountain Oolong is particularly good for cold brew because its sweetness gets accentuated.    Tie Kuan Yin and Jasmine Dragon Ball from China are also great choices.    Delicate Japanese greens such as Gyokoru is simply yummy.   For black teas, Darjeeling gives a wonderful aroma and sweetness.   Try using whole leaf teas, you will get so much more flavor and body.   Some whole leaf teas now come in convenient sachets for easy brewing.    

Characteristic of Cold Brew Tea

You will first notice a crystal clear tea.  The tea will have a jewel like transparent melon yellow or warm amber color, depending on the type of tea you use.  Next, you will notice the amazing flavor.   This is where cold brewed tea dramatically differs from regular hot tea or “iced” tea.  The cold brewed tea is sweet.  Much sweeter than you would expect.  While cold brewed tea still contain caffeine, it is much less than hot tea or iced tea.  Cold brewed tea also has much less tannins, which makes it much less astringent, so you would notice the sweetness on the first sip.

Can you put the “cold brew” tea in the fridge?   

Sure, but be sure to first give it at least 3 hours of steeping time at room temperature.   This way, you will experience maximum flavor.

What is the difference between a cold brewed tea vs a “sun” brewed tea?

Another popular way to brew tea is to let the tea bags soak in water, and leave the pitcher out in the sun for a few hours, and then add ice.   The sun brewed tea is another variation of the classically brewed iced tea.    The biggest difference is taste.  Sun brewed iced tea is nowhere as sweet as a cold brew.    When room temperature water is used to brew tea, there is very little heat to release the tannins and caffeine in the tea, resulting in a smooth sweet tasting tea.

Our Suggestions:

Pine Oolong is perfect for cold brewing.   Drop a tea bag into a tumbler and add cold water.  Let it steep overnight and enjoy! Find it here.

Mason Jars is perfect container for cold brewing.  Plus so very country chic.  Find yours at local stores in the canning equipment section, or find it here. 

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