How to Make Cold Brew Tea
Cold brew tea is an iced tea that is made by infusing the tea leaves in cold water rather than hot water or boiling water. Since cold water doesn’t develop flavors as easily as hot water, the steeping time is significantly longer when making iced tea using the cold brew method. It’s similar to making sun tea, but instead of placing the tea in direct sunlight, the cold brewed tea steeps in a large pitcher in the refrigerator. Cold brew tea can be made using tea bags or loose tea, though loose leaf tea generally offers better flavors compared to tea bags. Learn how to make cold brew tea with these useful tips and our simple cold brew recipe.
Easy Cold Brew Tea Recipe
- 1 tablespoon loose leaf tea for every 8 ounces of water
- Optional Flavorings (raspberries, fresh mint, flower petals, lemons, cucumbers, etc)
- Fill a glass pitcher with room temperature water or cold water.
- Add the loose tea leaves. You can simply place the leaves in the pitcher or add them to a tea strainer for easy removal later.
- Cover the pitcher with a lid or tea towel and place it in the refrigerator.
- Let the tea steep in the cold water for 6 to 12 hours. Green tea and white tea should steep for 6 to 8 hours while black tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and herbal tea should steep for 8 to 12 hours.
- Taste the tea every few hours to find your desired flavor. Once the tea finishes steeping, remove the tea leaves by pouring the concentrate through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Add flavorings if desired, serve over ice cubes, and enjoy your cup of tea!
Tips For Cold Brewing Tea
While making cold brew iced tea is relatively easy, there are a few handy tips you can use to ensure your tea is as tasty as possible.
Use the Right Tools
We recommend using a glass pitcher or glass containers such as mason jars when making cold brew tea. Not only does the glass enable you to view the stunning colors of the tea, it also won’t react with any ingredients. Some metal containers may react with acidic elements, altering the flavor of your tea, so it’s best to avoid cold brewing tea in metal bowls or jars.
If you choose to make cold brew iced tea with loose leaves, it’s a good idea to use a fine mesh infuser or a cheesecloth when straining out the leaves. These tools help to remove even the finest sediment from the tea leaves, ensuring your glass of tea is crystal clear and free from tea dust.
Use only high-quality tea leaves to get the best iced tea flavors. Since cold brewing tea takes longer to develop flavors, using poor quality leaves can cause astringent notes unpleasant to the palate.
The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavors will become. Some teas like black tea such as Earl Grey contain high amounts of tannins that can develop astringent flavors. Some people enjoy these bitter notes while others prefer smoother tastes, so make sure to try your tea every few hours when it is steeping. This will help you nail down the perfect flavor.
Since this brewing method requires using cold water to make tea, there are only a few types of sweeteners you can use to sweeten the tea. Cold water won’t dissolve hard sugars such as cane sugar or brown sugar very well. Instead, use a liquid sugar such as simple syrup or agave to sweeten your cold brew tea or cold brew coffee.
You can refrigerate your cold brew tea for 3 to 5 days depending on the ingredients you use in your iced tea recipe. Make sure to keep the pitcher covered to prevent other food items from contaminating your tea.
Benefits of Cold Brewing over Traditional Steeping
While true teas and herbal infusions provide many nutrients and beneficial elements no matter how they are prepared, cold brewing does offer some advantages. When hot water is introduced to tea leaves and tisane components, some of the antioxidants and other nutrients are necessarily broken down. Try cold brewing our Turmeric Ginger or Ruby Sipper for an powerful Vitamin C boost!
Refresh Your Senses With Cold Brew Tea
Cold brew tea offers all the health benefits of a cup of hot tea, but with the refreshing kick of a glass of iced tea. Best of all, you can cold brew just about any type of tea from matcha green tea to fruity blends such as Snow White and Organic Rosehip tea. Add water and let the tea steep for a few hours before sipping down great tasting tea. Swap out the hot brew for an ice-cold glass of cold brew tea and enjoy an afternoon filled with great tastes and life’s simple pleasures.