Just like you, we devote the summer days to taking our favourite tea the iced tea way. However this summer, although we did brew our tea cold, it was not iced tea. It was “Cold Brew Tea”. Yes, Cold brew tea is not the same as Iced Tea. Find out how…
The Brewing Method
The traditional iced tea is made by steeping tea leaves in hot water first. Once the tea is brewed it is served over ice or chilled in the refrigerator and then served cold. A simple process and a great tasting iced tea if you get the temperature and time right while brewing the tea leaves.
Cold Brew Tea
The cold brew method is even simpler and skips the step of brewing the tea leaves in hot water in the first place. Instead, it involves the only one step, i.e., steeping loose leaves in cold or room temperature water for a longer period of time.
So all you need to do is – add 2-3 TBS of loose leaf tea to a pitcher of cold, filtered water and refrigerate it for 4-10 hrs.
In this process, time rather than temperature is used to extract flavours from the tea leaves. The thing to keep in mind is – use 1.5x the amount of tea leaves you typically use when making iced tea.
There is another method of making cold brew tea- a traditional Japanese method, known as the Kouridashi-style of brewing. In this method, the tea brews as a huge chunk of ice melts.
Begin by filling your glass with a huge rock of ice or plenty of small ice cubes. Add 1-2 TSP of loose leaf tea (fine green teas or oolong teas work the best in this method) and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.
After the ice has melted you can taste the tea concentrate and add more water if it is too strong or blend it with other ingredients- honey, herbs, fresh berries, lemon, etc.
Cold Brew Tea vs Iced Tea
The Taste Factor
Although it may seem that both iced tea and cold brewed tea should taste the same, it is not so. A cold brew tea is smooth, delicate, naturally sweet and flavourful. When the leaves are brewed in hot water (as is done in the first step of making iced tea), the heat helps in extracting flavours from the tea, but it also releases tanins which lends a bitterness to the tea. Since there is no heat involved in the cold brew method, the chemical process changes and the output tea is sweeter and more refreshing.
Cold Brew teas are shown to have higher amounts of antioxidants and low caffeine content, as compared to hot brews.
So if you have made enough iced teas this summer, its time to add a new drink to your summer tea parties- The Cold Brew Tea. Try your hands at it with our Virgin Green tea or Crema Pearl Oolong Tea. Experiment by adding flavourful herbs, fruits and flowers. Or better still, make a cold brew with any of our teas in “Beat The Heat Collection”.