What is more refreshing than an icy cool, cold brew coffee? Why, an icy cool, cold brew tea, of course. With the popularity of cold brew coffee (and even beer!) on the rise, some brewers may ask “can you cold brew tea?”.
Tea on its own is a healthy, tasty, and refreshing beverage. Imagine how much more so when cold brewed! So today we will explore the question of cold brewing with tea. Keep reading to learn more!
So, Can You Cold Brew Tea?
Though we typically think of tea as a hot drink-with the exception, of course, being iced tea (more on that later), cold-brewed tea is certainly a thing.
Cold-brew tea is prepared by immersing tea in cold or room temperature water and placing it in the fridge for about 2 to 8 hours. This method allows the tea to slowly but fully infuse the brew.
Cold-brew tea is rich, smooth, silky, less bitter, less astringent, sweeter, and possesses a bit less caffeine than hot brewed tea.
The reason cold brew tea comes out less bitter or astringent is because of the chemical reactions the leaves have when they are exposed to hot water, which does not occur with cold brewing.
The flavor and aroma palette for hot brewed and cold-brewed tea will be noticeably different even when using the same leaves for both.
This is also how iced tea differs from cold brew. Iced tea is usually brewed hot and then cooled off. Next, the ice and other sweeteners are added later. Cold-brew is not brewed hot at all, but is still incredibly soothing and refreshing!
To prepare cold brewed tea, all you need are tea leaves, filtered or purified water, and a sealable jar or bottle.
Oh, yes, and time of course! To properly cold brew tea you will need 1-2 ounces of leaves or 1-2 tea bags and 6-10 ounces of water. Remember, the more leaves you use the stronger and richer your tea will be!
How Long Should You Steep Cold Brew?
While hot brews take only a few minutes, cold brews need a bit more time to blossom. The time aspect of cold brewing is how the leaves’ flavors get unlocked as they steep over a long period of time in the cold water.
Unlike hot brewed tea, there is no risk of over steeping. So leaving your tea in your cold brewing device will be fine.
The time required for your leaves to fully immerse your brew will differ though depending on the leaf type.
- White and green tea – 6 to 8 hours is fine
- Black and oolong – these hardier teas need more time like 8 to 12 hours.
Are Cold Brews Healthy?
Like hot brewed tea, cold brew is super healthy for you! Let’s take a quick look at some of the keen health benefits of cold-brewed tea.
- Less caffeine – This is a great option for people who might be sensitive to caffeine.
- Antioxidants – Keeps us safe from oxidative stress and roaming free radicals.
- Amino acids, tannins, vitamins, and nutrients – tea is packed with health-boosting natural goodies.
- In tandem, these amino acids and vitamins work to promote longevity and good health.
- Can help guard against disease and ailments – Tea has been found to potentially reduce the chances of developing diseases and health complications like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and some types of cancer.
- Good for organs and circulation – Tea helps improve our circulation, heart, and brain function, and can maintain good organ health.
Best Teas for Cold Brewing
The short answer- all of them! But for a more nuanced take on cold brew tea, each leaf type has something wonderful and different to offer when cold brewed. Keep reading to learn more!
- Green tea – A deep, jade elixir, free of bitterness or astringency. Cold-brewed green tea is rich and offers a refreshing crispness.
- White tea – Cold brewing brings out white tea’s fruitier and more floral flavors, aromas, and notes. Cold brewing with white tea leads to a truly rejuvenating beverage. White tea is already lower in the caffeine department when hot brewed so cold brewed it is even lighter on caffeine. Enjoy with some ice and you have a great summer drink!
- Black tea – Hot brewed black tea is truly robust. The deep, thick, often earthy, malty, and sometimes bitter black tea may put some tea lovers off but cold-brewed black tea is transformed. Silky, rich, smooth, and bursting with some interesting fruitiness that hot brewing may miss!
- Oolong – The flavor palette of Oolong teas is some of the most diverse out there. Cold-brewed Oolong is truly spectacular. Vivacious fruitiness and lovely floral palettes make soothing appearances.
Cold brewing is fun, easy, and leads to some really spectacular innovation. Try cold-brewing your different types of leaves.
Give tea blends, tisanes, and herbal teas a try, too. Try to find some unique flavor and aroma palettes that may usually be hidden by hot brewing. The world is your oyster with a cold brew!
- Choe, Jee. “Cold Brew Tea: What It Is & How to Make It Properly.” Oh, How Civilized, 1 May 2020, www.ohhowcivilized.com/make-best-iced-tea-cold-brew/. Accessed 10 June 2022.
- “Cold Brew Any Tea.” Sips By, www.sipsby.com/blogs/tea-recipes/cold-steeping-tea#:~:text=You%20can%20cold%20brew%20any. Accessed 10 June 2022.
- “How to Cold Steep Tea (and Why!).” The Cup of Life, 8 Nov. 2021, theteacupoflife.com/2017/06/how-to-cold-steep-tea-and-why.html. Accessed 10 June 2022.