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Cold brew tea
For many of the same reasons that cold brew coffee is popular, cold brew tea is gaining more attention. Cold brew tea contains less caffeine (about half) so it’s easier on the stomach and can be enjoyed any time for most people. Using cold water instead of hot water extracts more of the flavors, but slower, over time. The result? A smooth, less bitter, cleaner tasting tea. Great taste and less caffeine aren’t the only benefits that cold brew tea offers – extracting tea with cold water instead of hot retains the same or more antioxidants depending on the tea than its hot water sidekick so it is good tasting and good for you.
1. Which teas are the best for cold brew?
According to a recent article (Cold Brew Tea’s Time has Come by Lin Zhen, July 2018), most unfermented teas are perfect for cold brewing. The integrity of green, black, Yerba Mate, white, herbal, fruit infused, and oolong tea profiles are kept intact by this brewing method, bringing out their aroma and natural sweetness.
For a great cold brew tea guide and recipes, try The Tea Spot’s D.Y.I. Cold Brew Lifestyle Guide: http://theteaspot.com/assets/pdf/DIY_Cold_Brew_Tea_Guide.pdf
2. How to make cold brew tea
Before making cold brew, make sure you:
- Use a clean container, preferably glass or other food safe container
- Have filtered water
- Have a strainer
- Limit the time the tea is held at room temperature. Refrigerate immediately
- Check and comply with food safety practices
The general guide for the tea-to-water ratio is 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea for every 32 oz of fresh, cold water. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the tea to steep for at least 2 hours, but typically no more than 8-10 hours OR steep for up to 1 hour at room temperature. Strain the leaves and enjoy. Refrigerate unused portion immediately. Depending on the tea, steeping times may be shorter or longer. As a general guideline, green, white and herbals can be steeped for 2-6 hours while black and oolongs can steep for a little longer, 6-10 hours.
Add fruit to cold brew tea
3. Taking cold brew tea to the next level
Want more from your cold brew? Try these suggestions for making you next signature beverage or dessert:
A. Multi-Teas: Use more than one tea when creating cold brew tea. Try to pair teas with similar steeping times such as a white tea and a green tea or a black tea and an oolong tea.
B. Add-ins: Add either fresh or frozen fruit such as lemon slices, orange slices, lime, muddled berries, diced peaches, mangoes, cucumber, blueberries, mint, simple syrup
Cold brew tea cocktail
A. Cold Brew Tea Cocktails:
Infusion method: Infuse liquor with tea by pouring an entire bottle of vodka, rum or bourbon (750mL) in a glass container. Add 2 tea bags and steep overnight at room temperature. Remove tea bags and blend into cocktails.
Cold Brew Tea Method: After steeping the tea in the refrigerator and discarding the leaves, add simple syrup or brown sugar and mint leaves. Add to a glass filled with ice and then add your favorite liquor. Top with sparkling water or lemonade and enjoy.
Cold brew tea and lemonade beverage
D. Cold Brew Tea Arnold Palmer: Combine cold brew tea with lemonade. Serve over ice.
E. Sparkling Cold Brew Tea: Combine cold brew tea, simple syrup, and sparkling water
F. Cold Brew Chai: In a glass container, add 2 tablespoons of loose leaf chai to about a quart of water. Cover and refrigerate for 8-10 hours. Strain tea solids. Add milk and simple syrup to taste.
G. Cold Brew Tea Floats: Add cold brew tea over ice cream, sorbet, or gelato along with sparkling water.
H. Cold Brew Tea Glaze: Combine cold brew tea, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Drizzle over cakes, donuts or cookies.