The day is hot and you really need to take tea. You are best advised to try a cup of iced cold tea. It could be the only thing to stop you from suffering the devastating effects of the summer heat. But first, you must learn how to cold brew tea. It is not the same as pouring your tea over ice. Rather, it is an elaborate method that brings out the best properties of the tea for a fuller flavor.
Unlike the traditional method which involves brewing hot tea and then cooling it, cold brewing is more precise, and perhaps healthier. The following are the reasons you should be cold brewing your tea:
•Balance flavor. The type of brewing used determines the kind of flavor your tea is going to have. With hot brewing, precision and timing are of the essence. You have to ensure you don’t leave the tea bag too long or too short. Mess up with the timing and it could turn out bitter or too light. With cold brewing, that is not something to be concerned about. With cold water, the flavors are extracted more naturally and slowly, which results in a less bitter drink. It also looks cleaner.
•When brewed hot, you have to use ice to cool down the tea. As it melts, ice could dilute the tea and reduce its original flavor. Cold brewing tea removes the necessity to add ice, given that the tea is kept in the refrigerator to chill.
•Lots of health benefits. When cold brewed, tea retains most of its antioxidants compared to hot tea. According to some studies, cold brewed tea obtains more than two-thirds of the caffeine in hot tea.
How to Cold Brew Tea
Chances are that you love your cup of cold tea. It doesn’t really matter the type of tea you are working with. The only difference will be the length of time it takes to brew the tea based on the type. For instance, you should take longer when brewing rolled oolong tea compared to the other teas in the same category.
It is also to cold brew your favourite drink with nothing but used tea leaves. You will be surprised just how much flavor is still contained in the tea leaves. Depending on the tea leaves you and using and the end result you expect, it will take you between 2 and 12 hours to cold brew a good cup of tea. But you would know how long it will take until you try cold brewing the tea yourself.
After you have started the process keep checking the tea to see if the flavor is just good or could take longer to mature. In fact, the time taken to cold brew tea is the only disadvantage of this method. To avoid getting over-anxious, learn how to cold brew tea overnight. When you check in the morning, you should already be having a very refreshing drink. All that without having to wait too long.
Things You Need To Cold Brew the Tea
•A jar or pitcher
•Your choice tea (it is recommended that you use loose leaf tea for the best flavor)
•Cold or room temperature water
•An optional flavouring such as spices, fruit or herbs
Step 1. Scoop 2 teaspoons of tea (loose-leaf) and place in the jar or pitcher. The best results come when loose-leaf tea is used and not the filtered variety such as tea bags. As the loose leafs swirl in the jar or pitcher, they will keep releasing flavor until you are ready to have your drink. When you finally drink the tea, you should get all the antioxidants and caffeine you need for good health.
Note that you can basically use any type of tea to prepare your drink. It could be a white, green or black tea. Examples include sencha green tea, Tie Guan Yin, White Peony, Silver Needle, Rooibos, and Genmaicha.
Step 2. Fill the jar or pitcher with two cups of cold or room temperature water. In case you would like more of the drink, simply increase the amount of water and tea leaves used. As an option, you may add spices, fresh herbs or fruits to your cold tea. This will help you make the cold tea even more flavorful. If you would like, add your favorite sweetener. Only that cold brewed tea is sweeter. Even if it requires a sweetener, it is cold and may not dissolve it fully. Here is a simple guide on the length of time it will take to cold brew certain types of tea:
•Black tea – between 8 and 12 hours
•Green and white tea – between 6 and 8 hours
•Oolong tea – between 8 and 10 hours
•Puerh tea – between 10 and 12 hours
•Herbal tea – between 12 and 14 hours
Step 3. After covering the jar or pitcher, place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit in there for the recommended length of time. For the teas that take longer, steeping overnight is recommended. But don’t be tied down to a rigid schedule. It is always good to experiment since doing so is guaranteed to give you the precise results you have been looking for.
Step 4. One of the first things to look at after cold brewing tea is the change in color. Taste it to ascertain that the flavor is nothing short of your expectations. If the taste is stronger than you expected, dilute it with cold water. It is too mild, steep it some more.
Once you have a perfect flavor, pour it through a strainer with a fine mesh. This will help remove the loose-leaf tea leaves from the drink. Alternatively, if you used tea bags, simply remove them. Once they are out, discard. If you can find a pitcher with a lid with a filter, then you can simply pour out the tea and the loose leaves will be caught in it.
Once you have learned how to cold brew tea, go ahead and make your favorite drink for that hot summer afternoon. Enjoy!