Simply add your tea leaves to a jar or container, fill with cold water and refrigerate. Then strain out the leaves and enjoy!
For more detailed directions: You’ll need to use more tea than when brewing hot. Place a 1 ounce iced teabag or 1 ounce of loose tea in a 1/2 gallon container. Fill with water, secure the lid and refrigerate 6-10 hours. Pull the teabag out of the water (or strain out the tea leaves). Pour the cold brewed tea in a tall glass, add water if needed, and enjoy. Like it sweet? Add simple syrup to your glass.
Note: We brew the teabag over night and strain in the morning. In a tall glass we either fill it 2/3 with the cold brewed tea and top it off with 1/3 cold water or we take 2/3 brewed tea and add 1/3 fruit juice to sweeten the tea and add a different taste profile.
So, why should you cold brew your tea? Using hot water to brew tea will release tannins from the leaf into the cup. Tannins are compounds found in tea (mostly black tea) that have a bitter, astringent taste. To learn more about tannins click here to read an article about tannins on RateTea.com. If you are not a fan of tannins in your cup, cold brewing releases less tannins into the cup and results in a smoother tasting brew.
When brewing green, white and some oolong teas, if the water temperature is too hot the resulting cup will be bitter and unpleasant tasting. Cold brewing eradicates this issue and produces a perfectly brewed cup every time!
Do you constantly forget to refill your ice trays? I do. Every time! With cold brew tea, the tea is already cold and I don’t need to add ice to the glass. It saves me from having to try to remember to make ice cubes and it doesn’t dilute the tea. Perhaps I should remember to buy my next refrigerator with a built in ice maker so this will cease to be an issue. Until then I’m quite content with no ice in my cold brew teas.
We’ve had lots of fun experimenting with cold brew teas this summer. Put a teabag in a container of cold water and put it in the fridge. Easy peasy! If I’m using loose teas to make cold brew then I have the opportunity to mix and match a few different teas to create many more options. We have a few suggestions for teas that are great iced here on our Iced Tea page.
We hope you enjoy experimenting with cold brewing your teas. Let us know your favorite concoctions.